Lee Elementary students perform at Memorial Union

Wednesday, December 18, 2013 | 6:59 p.m. CST; updated 9:29 p.m. CST, Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Lee Elementary first-graders performed their Christmas concert outside Memorial Union on Wednesday before visiting the State Historical Society in Ellis Library. The students had created ornaments for a Christmas tree there.

COLUMBIA — The Memorial Student Union arch became a theater for Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School first-graders on Wednesday.

Nearly 60 students performed songs from the opera "Hansel and Gretel," as well as Christmas carols, in front of the arch. Parents watched their children sing, some recording the concert on cellphones and tablets. Some university employees also came out to watch the performance.

For the last five years, Lee Elementary first-graders have decorated the chancellor's residence for Christmas and performed songs at the house, art teacher Ann Mehr said.

Because MU is currently between chancellors, no one is occupying the residence.

A Lee Elementary parent suggested the students create ornaments for the State Historical Society of Missouri's "Show Me Holiday Tree," Mehr said. The tree holds ornaments symbolizing different regions of Missouri, and this year holds papier mâché birds made by the Lee Elementary first-graders. Lee Elementary also arranged for the annual concert to take place at Memorial Union.

After the concert, students and teachers crossed Hitt Street to see their artwork on display at the State Historical Society.

"They were thrilled," Mehr said, to see their art work on display at such a "grown up" institution.

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