By mvitale, OCNJDAILY
Get ready to be wowed by school choirs from Cape and Atlantic Counties in the “Christmas Chorale,” which begins airing on Saturday.
The show will feature 11 local school choirs singing holiday favorites. All performances from the show will be available on YouTube to enjoy throughout the holiday season. They can also be viewed on Facebook or by scanning a QR code.
Over the years, thousands of school choirs from grades third through 12th have had the opportunity to perform in a holiday tradition that is entering its 41st year, show producer Martin Fiedler, of Just Right TV Productions, said in an interview Monday.
“It gives kids the opportunity to perform in an organized fashion on TV. We try very hard to make sure every student who is performing is seen,” Fiedler noted. “We will post the shows on Dec. 2.”
There will be five, 30-minute segments that make up the holiday show. There are no commercial interruptions, Fiedler pointed out.
The show is free to binge-watch.
“We are doing this to highlight young talent and thank the communities we serve,” Fiedler said.
Here is a list of the school choirs that will be performing in the show:
- Absegami High School, Galloway Township
- Buena Regional High School
- Buena Regional Middle School
- Egg Harbor Township High School
- Galloway Township Middle School
- Hess School, Hamilton Township
- Margaret Mace Middle School, North Wildwood
- Oakcrest High School, Mays Landing
- Ocean City Intermediate School
- Vincent DePaul School, Mays Landing
- William Davies Middle School, Hamilton Township
Here is last year’s show.
Fiedler invites anyone who would like to see the program being created to head to the Ocean City Tabernacle at 550 Wesley Ave. in Ocean City on Wednesday. The schedule for the production will be 8:50 a.m. to 1:50 p.m. Each choir will perform for 25 minutes.
He added that it should be a fun and exciting day and that afterward, the choirs could enjoy Ocean City.
“Almost everyone will come on a bus. The schools are treating it like a field trip. Some students may go for pizza on the Boardwalk and enjoy Ocean City after their performance,” Fiedler said.
The Christmas Chorale began on TV 40, the local NBC affiliate, until the station went off the air in 2014. Fiedler has been involved with the holiday show since 1982 when he worked at TV 40. He recalled the first Christmas Chorale show was at the old Golden Nugget casino hotel in Atlantic City that year.
Since then, the show has continued to gain popularity with generations of families enjoying the show and performing in them.
In the mid-2000s, TV 40 approached Fiedler about taking over the production of the show and he happily obliged.
After a two-year hiatus, five shows were produced for the milestone 40th year anniversary last year.
“For me, I’ve seen the kids get excited because they are going to be on television performing. They step out as a group,” Fiedler said. “It is a real confidence builder. The show gets thousands of views on Facebook and YouTube.
The QR Code for this year’s performance is the same one as last year’s code, Fiedler said.
Fiedler said he anticipates this year’s show to be a spectacular one because of the talent, many of whom are choirs from the same schools that have performed year after year in the show.
“The Hess School will bring the largest group. They will have three buses,” Fiedler said. “The show will feature both ends of Atlantic County and Cape May County.”
The Ocean City Intermediate School will be part of the Christmas Chorale this year for the first time in nine years.
Fiedler, who is also an instructor at Atlantic Cape Community College, where he teaches TV Production 1 and TV Production 2, is also bringing his students for some hands-on experience.
“We will have four cameras and the students will take turns doing the behind-the-scenes stuff. I arranged it that way early on in the class. They get to juggle and get some real hands-on experience,” he said.
Last year was significant because it was the 40th anniversary of the show, Fiedler said.
He and his wife, Debra, who helps out with the show, considered the possibility of stopping after the 40th Chorale, simply because of the work involved.
“There was some discussion,” Fiedler said. “But we decided to do the show this year because the schools called back and said they wanted to do it again. How do you say no to that?”