As the number of shopping days left before Christmas ticks down, Dodge City High School students have been busy preparing a concert for the holidays.

As the number of shopping days left before Christmas ticks down, Dodge City High School students have been busy preparing a concert for the holidays.
The concert, which is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 13 at the high school auditorium, is called "An Old-Fashioned Holiday Sing Along." More than 300 students will perform in two bands, two orchestras and four choral groups.
A number of students are slated for solos during the program, including Austin Magette, tenor saxophone and Layne Moe, trumpet, during the jazz band's rendition of "Let It Snow;" Sage Harman, Steven Gonzalez and George Pyle with a three-violin arrangement of the popular band standard "Buglers' Holiday;" Caleb Austin, Emily Denton and Michaela Hastings on percussion for the Madrigals performance of "Keep Your Lamps Trimmed and Burning;" and Daniel Brinkley, Matt Pflughoeft, Alice Pyle and Liz Romero on percussion for Class Act Chorale's version of "With Gladness, Cheer and Song."
The program will conclude with a holiday sing-along featuring the combined bands, choirs, orchestras and audience.
The vocal and instrumental performance groups have combined their holiday concerts into a single evening since the move to the new high school gave them enough space to get everyone on stage.
"But all our performance groups are growing in numbers, so we have talked about needing to split into two concerts," said Erica Fleeman, director of bands.
The combination of performance groups helps bring the community to the concert, according to the faculty leading the groups.
"People like the variety and the fact that they can see their students in several groups on one evening," Fleeman said.
For the concert band, this will be their first concert performance of the school year. The band spent the fall perfecting their marching show and achieved superior ratings in all categories at three marching festivals.
"We had a really great year," Fleeman said.
The orchestra attended the Western Kansas Orchestra Festival in Hays, with Caleb Austin, viola, being placed first chair. The orchestra also presented their annual children's concert in October.
"It's a recruiting tool — we let the orchestra dress up in costumes and have a parade — this year's theme was Disney," said Wendy Mickey, director of orchestras.
The choirs also presented a concert in October and attended the state choir workshop. Members of the vocal department are hard at work on the upcoming musical, "Grease," which is slated for Jan. 31, and Feb. 1 and 2.
Students are also preparing for instrumental auditions for state band, orchestra and jazz band, which will be held on Jan. 5 in Salina. Eleven DCHS students will audition.
Choral auditions were held in Dodge City Nov. 3 and one DCHS vocalist will attend state choir.
All the state groups will perform during the Kansas Music Educators Association meetings in late February.
Fleeman is currently president of the state organization.

In the spirit
The DCHS floral arts program will provide holiday decorations for the concert and a post-concert reception will be held in the commons area. Cookies, cider and tea will be served and the jazz band will play.
"It's a chance for people to meet and talk to the students and for everybody to enjoy the holiday spirit," Fleeman said.

What: Dodge City High School music department holiday concert
When: 7 p.m. Dec. 13
Where: Dodge City High School auditorium
The concert is free and open to the public