On Music (Tempus Fugit Edition): Songs for the Holiday Concerts at South Miami High

This is the only photo I have from the 1981 Winter Concert (December 15, 1981) at South Miami High. If you look closely, you’ll see me in the front row, center. (Photo Credit: Gene Wrigley/De Capello 1982 Yearbook)

I joined South Miami Senior High School’s Men’s Chorus in January of 1981, on the first day back to school after the winter break of the 1980-1981 academic year. I did so on a whim; for the first half of 10th grade I had no interest in joining anything beyond the Serpent’s Tale staff and thought that was enough, thank you very much.

But after hearing the various choral groups – there were at least four of them that I recall[1]– during the December Christmas (or Winter) Concert, I felt an urge to join. Partly because I had been a member of Tropical Elementary School’s first chorus when I was in sixth grade, but mostly because it looked like it would be fun. (And trust me, if you knew how topsy-turvy my life was when I was in 10th grade, you’d understand why I needed something fun and creative during my sophomore year in high school.)

Because I joined Ms. Joan Owen’s chorus class halfway through the school year, I only participated in the school’s Winter Concert season twice. Once as a junior, and later as a senior. 

This week marks the 40th Anniversary of my first Christmas concert appearance, and (famously or infamously) of my solo performance of White Christmas.

Because we didn’t have smartphones, digital cameras, or even a TV production club during the 1981-82 school year, there are no YouTube videos of the performances I participated in when I was a student at South Miami. I did, for a while, have a cassette recording of dubious quality of the 1982-83 Winter Concert, but I lost it many years ago. So I have to rely on my (human and thus fallible) memory to recall the songs that we, the Singing Cobras, sang in those two concerts.

Note, some of these songs were performed as solos, and I – obviously – was not in all of the South Miami Senior High choral groups. But we did sing all of the titles on this list in the 1981-82 and 1982-83 Christmas concerts:

  • Winter Wonderland
  • Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town
  • The Little Drummer Boy
  • Do You Hear What I Hear?
  • El Yivneh Hagalil
  • Ya viene la vieja
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Ave Maria
  • The Christmas Song
  • Jingle Bell Rock
  • Sleigh Ride
  • O Holy Night
  • Silent Night/Stille Nacht
  • White Christmas

[1] Men’s Choir, Women’s Choir, Mixed Chorus I, and Mixed Chorus II.

Published by Alex Diaz-Granados

Alex Diaz-Granados (1963- ) began writing movie reviews as a staff writer and Entertainment Editor for his high school newspaper in the early 1980s and was the Diversions editor for Miami-Dade Community College, South Campus' student newspaper for one semester. Using his experiences in those publications, Alex has been raving and ranting about the movies online since 2003 at various web sites, including Amazon, Ciao and Epinions. In addition to writing reviews, Alex has written or co-written three films ("A Simple Ad," "Clown 345," and "Ronnie and the Pursuit of the Elusive Bliss") for actor-director Juan Carlos Hernandez. You can find his reviews and essays on his blogs, A Certain Point of View and A Certain Point of View, Too.

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