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Mancos students prepare ‘Nutcracker’ performance

Production features original choreography
The Mancos school band practices for a concert in October. The group will perform selections from “The Nutcracker” next Thursday, along with elementary school dancers.

Mancos school students are preparing their own version of “The Nutcracker” featuring original dance choreography and classic music from the holiday ballet.

“It’s a collaboration between all the grade levels,” band director Andrew Saletta said. “It’s a big undertaking but it will be worth it.”

The one-time showing will be Thursday, December 15 at 6 p.m. at the Mancos Performing Arts Center. A donation of $5 per family is suggested, and students are free.

The Blue Jays band, made up of middle- and high-schoolers, will perform well-known musical numbers from the ballet, Saletta said. Elementary schoolers worked with parent volunteers to come up with dance moves to go along with the music, he said.

Parents, as well as art teacher Elise Hanson, helped to create costumes and small props for the show, Saletta said.

It’s great to work on a project where a very diverse age range of students are all working on the same project, the director said. Elementary schoolers have been very creative, and band members stepped it up to perform the music, Saletta said.

“It’s been a really fun, rich project to work on,” he said. “I’m very excited to see how it goes off.”