Choir’s holiday spirit heard in SF January 7, 2011 — by Vivien Lu Photo by Tiffany YungStudents performed in early December in the McAfee Center with a surprise director. Permalink Almost like a holiday tradition, hotels in San Francisco hire the school’s choirs to come and spread the Christmas spirit. This year, the group consisted of about 100 students, who spent Dec. 16 and 17 entertaining guests. Almost like a holiday tradition, hotels in San Francisco hire the school’s choirs to come and spread the Christmas spirit. This year, the group consisted of about 100 students, who spent Dec. 16 and 17, their last two days before winter break, entertaining guests. “This trip has blossomed, as we used to go to only one or two hotels,” music teacher Jim Yowell said. “Now we go to more because hotels hear about us and invite us back.” After performing at the hotels, the choir students were treated to free food provided by the hotels. The choirs sang a wide variety of carols from Hanukkah music to Christmas jingles. “It was a good way to have everyone in choir bond because we’re usually separate,” junior Valerie Peterson said. “This trip gave us a chance to be together and work as a team.” On the first night, the group enjoyed a nice dinner on Fisherman's Wharf and saw “Shrek," the musical. Then, the students hopped on the bus to stop at several hotels after a complementary breakfast the next morning. Some hotels that the choir sang at were the Hyatt Regency, Palace Hotel, Fairmont Hotel and Mark Hopkins Hotel. Although they had their work cut out for them, students were still given the opportunity to enjoy the city. “My favorite part was the free time to walk around and shop downtown,” Peterson said. The choir provided entertainment for the holiday high tea, an elegant event where people relax while being served fancy desserts and tea. “It was a full day of singing, but everyone loves to do it and it was a good opportunity for everyone to see the sights of the city,” Yowell said. “Also, it was a great way to end the first part of the school year, and everyone seemed to appreciate it.” Also in the holiday spirit, Symphonic Wind Ensemble and Orchestra had a concert in the evening of Dec. 7 in the McAfee Center. The students played Christmas music such as the “Dance of the Gester and Sleigh Ride.” “‘Sleigh Ride’ was my favorite piece because it was really cheerful and there was a skit involving the music teachers and some seniors who played out a scene of the the Grinch,” junior trumpeter Thomas Ishikawa said. “It was the first concert for SWE and it went pretty smoothly.