What choir is this? Students’ off-key singing quashes holiday spirit

Rehearsals proved futile for Bass Lake Elementary’s holiday show. (Surveillance courtesy photo)

By Max Fontaine | Beacon’s investigative leisure reviewer

Dreadful vocalizing turned an otherwise festive occasion to mush Tuesday at the Bass Lake Elementary Christmas pageant.

Out-of-key, unison-oriented blurting, coupled with scant grasp of lyrics, turned holiday favorites like “Joy to the World” and “Silver Bells” into barely recognizable rubbish, according to some parents and friends-of-family in the audience.

“God, my ears hurt,” said Leo Rathgrave, 45, uncle of one of the participants. “Makes me want to go home, hit the bourbon and surf YouTube for a Bing Crosby-David Bowie duet of ‘Frosty the Snowman,’ if such a thing exists. Couldn’t be much worse than this.”

Despite the letdown, positive moments did seep through the cracks. Third-grader Megyn-Anne Vartson belted out an impressive version of “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” to which she added guitar and piano accompaniment.

Following the show, her mother, Sarasue, expressed a mix of pride and relief.

“We hoped Megyn-Anne would do well,” Sarasue said. “She ought to. She’s been practicing this every day for about the past five months.”

Bass Lake Elementary’s musical offerings continue tonight with a performance by Little Canoes Band & Orchestra. Admission cost for the show has been reduced from “donations accepted” to “all in attendance will receive a free canned good.”


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