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Newhall Community Center hosts Christmas event

Posted: December 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: December 22, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Josh Huerta, 9, works on crafts at the Santa Clarita Community Center in Newhall on Thursday.

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It was an “intergenerational” Christmas celebration, said Julie Calderon, Newhall Community Center supervisor.

The inaugural “Cocoa, Cookies and Caroling” event was held Thursday evening at the Newhall Community Center and attracted more than 100 guests.

“This is a way to celebrate the holiday season with the community,” Calderon said.

The event featured musical performances by the Silver Bells, Silver Beaux, Silver Tones and the Jingle Bells from the Santa Clarita Valley Senior Center, as well as an 11-member youth choir from the Community Center.

The music featured popular Christmas songs like “Sleigh Ride,” “Jingle Bell Rock” and “Feliz Navidad.”

John Swinford, senior music director of the SCV Senior Center, said the seniors were excited to participate in the event.

“We love to do what we do and we love to take the music we create out into the community,” he said. “I hope it gets people into the Christmas season, and when they walk away tonight they’ll be humming Christmas songs.”

Swinford, on the piano, was joined by a handful of musicians on violin, guitar and trumpet.

“I understand that we are one of the very last senior centers that has a budget for music,” Swinford said. “It’s part of the senior wellness program because music keeps people mentally and physically active and part of the world, so that’s what we do.”

The Community Center youth choir featured 11 girls led by Melanie Parson, Community Center recreation leader. Clad in red T-shirts, the choir members hand decorated themselves with designs in gold glitter, they sang seven songs including “Let It Snow” and “You’re a Mean One Mr. Grinch.”

“They’ve been working very, very hard,” Parson said. “It should be a very entertaining night.”

The youth choir joined with the senior vocalists to sing “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” and “Silent Night” in English and Spanish.

Following the mini-concert, children were able to greet Santa and have photos taken. They were also invited to make hand-crafted ornaments.

The Newhall Community Center has more than 2,000 active members, Calderon said.

“It’s a place for everyone to come. It’s for everybody,” she said.

In addition to after-school youth programs, Calderon hopes to offer more programs for seniors in the new year.

“We have a gym and will create some programs for the more active seniors,” she said.



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