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Adventist Christmas program has multicultural flair
new slt SDA-program
Children from the Great Bend Seventh-day Adventist School rehearse for Saturdays Christmas program. Pictured are, Fabiola Castrejon as Mary, left; and singers, front row, from left: Julianna Facio, Natanya Razafindrabe and Isabel Rivera; back rows: Anna Risher and Rachel Fisher. Not pictured: Austin Hay, who plays Joseph. - photo by Susan Thacker/Great Bend Tribune

Note: Content has been changed to correct the time of the program.

English is not the first language of the majority of the seven students who attend Great Bend’s Seventh-day Adventist School, so the school Christmas program combines the customs and songs of Mexico and the United States, Principal Betty Hay said. The program will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at the Seventh-day Adventist school, located with the church one mile west of 10th St. and Patton Road in Great Bend.
“We’re going to do the traditional Spanish Posada,” based on a nine-day festival that commemorates Mary and Joseph searching for lodging in Bethlehem, Hay said. “And then we go into the traditional Nativity scene from Luke 2 and Matthew 2.”
Doris Reile, the school music teacher, accompanies the children, who are in grades K through 5, as they take on roles of the innkeeper, angels, shepherds or a king. “Everybody has a speaking part,” she said. The ability to speak in public is part of the school curriculum, so the program is part of the students’ lessons as well as a source of entertainment for the community. They also have a kazoo chorus for one number.
Children will sing the first verse in Spanish and the second verse in English as they perform “O Little Town of Bethlehem” and “Silent Night.”
Four of the students learned Spanish as their first language, Hay said. Natanya Razafindrabe is from Madagascar.
Reile said the children will sing traditional Christmas carols and the numbers “Song of the Beasts,” “Welcome, Baby Jesus,” “Thank You God for Jesus,” “Alleluia, Gloria in Excelsis” and “Run, Shepherds Run.”