Mary, Joseph, three wise men, angels and shepherds have been able to get together for the first time in nearly two years after festive gatherings were banned last year.
Every Friday, Express presents a selection of online and offline exhibitions, performances, workshops, events and other historic, creative and delicious content to help islanders get their weekly dose of culture.
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This week, St. Clement’s School hosted three nativity performances for the parents and carers of its students.
Last year, Christmas school events and nativities were unable to go ahead due to covid-19 restrictions but this year, schools were able to ensure it could go ahead in person thanks to special measures.
“Schools have worked extremely hard, in the face of more covid-19 pressures, to ensure that the show goes on this Christmas to put children and young people first,” Deputy Scott Wickenden, the Children and Education Minister, Scott Wickenden, said.
“I am delighted that we are in a very different position this year thanks to the xovid-19 vaccine and hard work from schools and officers across the Department of Children, Young People, Education and Skills in helping to keep education settings open safely.
Pictured: St. Clement's School hosted three performances this week.
“Since early October, we have had extensive discussions on performances of school nativities and Christmas productions, where headteachers feel it is safe to do so. Individual headteachers are keeping the assessment of their position of Christmas nativities and events in their school as each setting is different.”
Aureole Choir has released a video of its performance of ‘Jingle Bell Dash’ recorded for the NSPCC Childline 'Merry Little Christmas' event.
The choir, which originated during lockdown, was the one and only virtual choir in the British Isles to take part in the hybrid event.
Over 70 singers of all ages took part in the performance, which was filmed in October at the Georgetown Methodist Church. Aureole singers also welcomed singers from other local groups such as Concordia, The Grouville Warblers, the Holme Chase Singers, The Hot Bananas and especially the Jersey Academy of Music Vocal Department.
Pictured: 70 singers from local choirs took part in the 'Jingle Bell Dash'.
“Our videos are always homemade and homespun, as was essential during the pandemic, but we were so pleased to include Slingshot Films on our team for this one to celebrate our actual coming together in-person!” John Bowley, who set up the choir with his wife Nicki, said.
“However, don't worry! We haven't lost our homemade feel, and our members still had great fun and went out and about filming themselves on their own devices. The video is a very merry compilation of all their films!”
Pictured: Jersey Symphony Orchestra is looking forward to its Christmas-themed concert.
After almost two years of cancelled concerts, of the J.S.O concerts, Jersey Symphony Orchestra is looking forward to its Christmas concert appropriately titled ‘The JSO Celebrates’.
Taking place at 20:00 on Sunday 19 December at Les Quennevais School Hall, the concert will be celebrating Christmas with a Latin-American twist under the direction of Conductor Natalia Luis-Bassa.
Apassionate advocate for young musicians’ education, Natalia was the first person to obtain a degree in Orchestral Conducting in her native country of Venezuela.
Pictured: Conductor Natalia Luis-Bassa was the first person to obtain a degree in Orchestral Conducting in her native country of Venezuela.
The concert’s programme will have a Christmas theme, of course, and, like Father Christmas himself, it will have an international flavour: from Russia with Rimsky-Korsakov’s folklore-themed Christmas Eve Suite; to Britain with Nigel Hess’ Christmas Overture and the USA with Bernstein’s Three Dance Episodes from ‘On the Town’.
South America will also have a strong presence in the concert with Moncayo’s Huapango (a native Mexican word meaning ‘on top of the world)’ and Ginistera’s four dances from Estancia and Danzon by Arturo Marquez.
Tickets are available through the JSO website.
Pictured: Joanne Creavey has transformed the grey walls of St. Joseph’s Residential and Nursing Home.
Local artist and former nurse Joanne Creavey has helped St. Joseph’s Residential and Nursing Home in St. Helier transform its specialist dementia care unit.
Under the guidance of Colette Bonner, Dementia Policy Advisor for LV Group, Joanne was given the task of transforming the unit’s grey walls into a therapeutic environment for residents.
The pair decided decided to bring nature and the outdoors into the home and Joanne painted a calming garden scene, with flowers and butterflies, and even a life-size cow head.
Pictured: The new designs aims to bring the outdoors inside the home.
Colette also introduced an indoor planted area so that residents could touch the earth and plants, and laid artificial grass to give them the sensory feeling of walking in a garden.
In another area, Joanne painted a beach scene, and the sound of seagulls is played through iPads to evoke the atmosphere.
“There is a tremendous amount of research which shows that keeping the environment calm reduces medication and improves behaviour,” Tracey Gentry, Clinical Director with LV Group commented.
Pictured: In the area where Joanne painted a beach scene, the sound of seagulls is played through iPads to evoke the atmosphere.
“Joanne and Colette have together created wonderfully relaxing scenes so that our residents can sit and enjoy the benefits of a garden and beach in a safe and secure space. It is so important that dementia patients are allowed to wander freely and touch and experience their environment, but in a controlled way. This reduces frustration and anxiety.”
Local craftsmen who like to play with fire will be at Devil's Hole tonight (10 December) for "a night of fire crafts".
Between 18:00 and 22:30, the Festival of Fire will see free demonstrations of glassblowing, lamp working, blacksmithing, kilnwork and jewellery-making.
Pictured: The Parish of St. Helier float.
The Jersey Battle of Flowers Christmas Parade is also returning this Sunday (12 December).
Islanders have been encouraged to come along and see the many blasts and to “have a blast, but consider a mask”!
Coram - a group of children's charities which includes Coram Voice, a charity supporting children in and around the care system – has launched its seventh annual creative writing competition. Called 'Voices', the competition is open to care-experienced children from the age of five and young care leavers.
The theme of this year’s competition is ‘This is Me’ and entries can be in any written form including poems, short stories, raps or newspaper articles, with a 500-word limit and submitted online before 28 February 2022.
There are four age categories: primary school (5-10), lower secondary school (age 11-14), upper secondary school (age 15-17) and care leavers (age 18-25).
Entries will be judged by an expert panel of authors and poets, some of whom are care experienced. The judges are due to be announced shortly, alongside a group of young judges who were finalists in previous years of the competition.
Since starting the competition in 2016, Coram has received over 1,000 entries from children and young people, giving care-experienced young people a platform to share their experiences and talents.
After two years of holding the Voices awards ceremony online due to Covid restrictions, Coram Voice is planning to host an in-person awards ceremony in central London in Spring 2022, bringing together the finalists, judges and supporters to celebrate the achievements of all the children and young people who took part.
Pictured: The competition is open to care experienced children from the age of five as well as care leavers.
Jessica, winner of the Voices 2021 Primary School category, said it was fun to take part in the competition. “It was awesome to be a winner, I was overjoyed and jumped up and down and screamed ‘I've won!’,” she said.
“My foster caring family, my school, my social worker, and everyone are very proud of me. And now I'm really excited to be invited back as a young judge for 2022's competition! I can't wait to read the entries."
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