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22nd annual Kamiak ‘Messiah’ thrills yet again


Last updated 12/12/2018 at Noon

An annual tradition before the end of the first half of the concert, Kamiak choir alumni join the choir to perform “Carol of the Bells.”

With rain in the forecast of late, rather than snow, Mukilteans looking for any reason to get in the holiday spirit had a great chance this past Sunday with Kamiak High School’s annual Holiday Classics Concert.

The event has grown in popularity so much over the years that the performance no longer takes place at the high school, but at the Everett Civic Auditorium, which has hosted the event for five years now.

The concert had two showings, with a few different performers and soloists performing in each showing.

According to Penny Engel, a volunteer who assists with promoting the event, the 2018 show was the most successful to date in terms of ticket sales, beating out the mark set in 2017.

Hundreds of students in choir and orchestra come together for the holiday concert, which is also one of the Kamiak performing arts’ biggest fundraisers of the year, with money going towards scholarships and expenses for travel, competitions and instruments.

The show included holiday favorites such as “Jingle Bells” and “You’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch.”

Nancy Duck-Jefferson, Kamiak’s choir teacher, led the first half of the show, which was performed by various choir students, including the school’s barbershop choir.

In the finale for the first half of the show, all choir students performed a rendition of “Carol of the Bells,” which also included past Kamiak choir students who were in attendance.

One crowd favorite was when the Kantorei choir sang “Twelve Days of a Regifted Christmas,” a different take on the classic holiday song, with gifts such as pink flamingos, Hawaiian shirts and turtleneck sweaters.

Following a brief intermission, Kamiak’s orchestra, led by Brian Steves, took the stage to perform “The First Noel” by Adolphe Charles Adam, and “Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy” and Waltz of the Flowers” from “The Nutcracker,” before combining with the choir to perform selections from Handel’s “Messiah” such as “Comfort Ye” and “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion.”

There were four soloists during the combined section of the show: Anthony Shami (first show) and Alex Callaway (second show) in “Comfort Ye,” Hyomin Kim in “O Thou That Tellest Good Tidings to Zion,” Felipe Lopes in “For Behold, Darkness Shall Cover the Earth,” and Ella Corwin in “And Suddenly, There Was With the Angel.”

The performance concluded with the audience standing to “Hallelujah.”

After a raucous ovation from the audience, Duck-Jefferson expressed her thanks to those in attendance and shared her thoughts on working with the performers, while poking fun at Steves.

“Thank you for choosing to spend your time with us,” she said. “This is always a huge and stressful time of year, and some people ask ‘How do you work with teenagers all the time?’ and I think it makes us better people, especially Mr. Steves. They have this interesting combination of intense emotions and strength, but also vulnerability, and it’s great to come to work every day.

“They’re just such a great example of what it means to be alive, and we all could use a little more of that.”

Next in store for Kamiak’s Performing Arts program is the winter play, “Radium Girls,” Jan. 11, 12, 18 and 19 at Kamiak’s Performing Arts Center. Tickets are available at the door.

For more information, email Bryan Sullivan at

January also will see the Kamiak Performing Arts Booster’s annual “Knight in Vienna” ball, which benefits the orchestra program.

It’s 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, in the Kamiak commons.

Tickets are sold at the door, and a dance lesson is given at the beginning of the evening.

For more information on upcoming Kamiak performing arts events, visit

Author Bio

Brandon Gustafson, Editor, Mukilteo Beacon

Brandon Gustafson was named editor of the Mukilteo Beacon in October, 2017. Born and raised in Mukilteo, Brandon attended Mukilteo Elementary, Olympic View Middle School, and Kamiak High School, graduating in 2013. After high school, Brandon attended Shoreline Community College, earning his associate's degree while playing for the school's baseball team. He then transferred to the University of Washington, where he graduated in 2017 with a bachelor's degree in communications-journalism.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 425-347-5634
Twitter: @MukBeaconBPG


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