The parking lot was stuffed full, and cars lined the road approaching NSS the night of the 25th Annual Rotary Carol Sing. It was December 7, and it seemed like a good night to sing your heart out to familiar seasonal songs.
Coming in from the cold, musicians from the two Nakusp schools darted up and down the hallway dressed in performance-formal black, running off some nervous energy.
The NSS gym was a sea of people peeling off winter layers and arranging themselves on the bleachers and plastic classroom chairs deposited there by students earlier that afternoon.
The room was comfortable, but it wasn’t full, with at least one quarter of the available space left empty.
Kees van der Pol, Rotary President, manned the mic well and faithfully, cracking jokes and getting people on their feet to sing.
The first entertainment of the evening was the Grade 7 school band, who were hit by flashes from parental and paper paparazzi eager to capture their performance for posterity. Both school bands were kept in time by music teacher Mr. Heller.
While the Senior Group got ready, the audience rose and sang together, cleverly timed and orchestrated by MC van der Pol. In what seemed to be no time at all the High School Band were performing jazzy versions of the classics, one with a “Nightmare Before Christmas” feel to it. Other highlights were the Rotary singers who belted out a rendition of “Six White Boomers,” a request of Cathy Robert’s last year during the carol sing. The United Church Singers regaled us with a snappy number, and the Community Choir flaunted its vocal talent with a rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus that got a standing ovation. The singers were accompanied by the talents of Marilyn Massey, Mrs. Garvey, and Danielle Savage as well as Leah Holden on violin.
By the time had come for the last two songs to be sung, the number of empty seats threatened to outnumber the occupied, and Kees van der Pol made an impassioned request for everyone to bring at least one person to next year’s Carol Sing to keep the tradition alive and thriving in Nakusp.