Our Girls’ School Carol Service, this year, was extra special in more ways than one. Despite being limited by lockdown, staff and students went all out to ensure the pandemic did not take away another annual event. This spirit of perseverance paved the way for the Girls’ School’s first digital Carol Service. It was significant that the setting for our last Carol Service on Remuera Road, Corran House would feature so prominently. The 30min in-house production featured every class and every year level.
Welcoming families to the Carol Service, Principal Ms Juliet Small said, ‘Tonight we put all the uncertainties and challenges of the year aside and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas. We have had to think differently, and you are in for a treat with this beautiful service. Christmas means even more to us this year as we plan to be together, as we are now, and with our extended families beyond the Auckland boundary during the holiday season.’
The Girls’ School Kapa Haka leaders Catelyn Aho and Eva Kolose opened the service with a Karanga and Karakia, followed by the Year 4 students who performed their upbeat rendition of Jingle Bell Rock.
In keeping with tradition, Girls’ School Head Girl Charlotte Lee and her mother Mrs Sherry Liu delivered the first two readings setting the theme for the service. Readings were also made by Ms Small, Deputy Principal Mrs Jill Wahlstrom and Deputy Head Girl, Catherine Fowler. This was accompanied by more carols by Year 7 students performing Feliz Navidad in front of Corran House, Year 3 students enthusiastically delivering O Little Town Of Bethlehem, and the Year 5 students giving an a capella performance of Joy to the World.
Then, it was time for our 3 and 4 year old guests from the Preschool to perform. They gave an animated rendition of He has a Red Red Coat that stole our hearts. In another special moment of joy and reverence, the Year 1 students came forward to create an angelic nativity play, with different scenes interspersed by our Year 8 students singing and dancing to Mary’s Boy Child, the Year 6s giving their version of Silent Night with accompanying violin and ukulele, and the Year 1 and 2 students performing Away in a Manger.
In his address, Reverend Reuben Hardie reflected on the various joys of Christmas. He connected this joy with a new song the girls learned this year at Chapel with the lyrics – the joy of the Lord is my strength, he said, ‘For a year that has brought so many challenges, whatever you are faced with this year and whatever challenges that still lie ahead, I believe we can face any obstacles and challenges that life throws at us if we hold on to the promise that the joy of the Lord is our strength. This Christmas, I hope and I pray that joy fills you up and that you know that the joy of the Lord is your strength.’
One of the highlights was the performance of The Little Drummer Girl in which our Year 8 students’ captured the essence of 2021; a combination of learning from home or in school with both students and teachers tuning in from wherever they were for a joint performance that showcased the teams’ many talents of playing conventional and unconventional percussion instruments – containers, trash cans, violin, electric guitar, ukulele, and drums to entertain the audience.
As the service unfolded, Chapel Prefect Phoebe Hirst said the prayer of Saint Kentigern before Reverend Hardie finished with a final blessing. He said, ‘Each year the Carol Service marks special moments in the final week of Year 8. We are so proud of the leadership our senior students have provided not just at school but during distanced learning as well. We are excited for them as they end this chapter and look forward to College next year. We hope and pray that the Lord will bless you and keep you, that the Lord will make his face shine upon you. To the class of 2021, we pray that God will surround you with joy, you will have God’s peace in your heart, God’s wisdom to guide you, and God’s strength each day.’
With the service coming to a close, our Year 8 students came forward to receive their Leavers’ Candle, a poignant moment for the girls and their families as their time at the Saint Kentigern Girls’ School comes to an end.
In the spirit of spreading the Christmas joy, the teachers and staff dressed up in festive clothes and accessories and sang We wish you a Merry Christmas, a fitting finale to a joyous Carol Service.
Merry Christmas everyone!