Christmas performance an emotional passing of the torch for one Rochester family

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Members of a Spaulding color guard unit perform on Saturday at the Community Center on Wakefield Street. (Rochester Voice photo)

ROCHESTER - Almost a thousand folks turned out to watch Spaulding High School's "Christmas with the Stars" spectacular on Saturday afternoon, but for one Rochester family it was an extra special holiday gift.

The multi-faceted talent laden show, titled "Christmas with the Stars," featured performances by the Spaulding band, chorus, concert band, handbells group and jazz band and ended with a rousing audience singalong of the Christmas standard, "Jingle Bells."

For Helen Wheeler of Rochester it was extra special, because she was there to watch her daughter, freshman Haleigh Connelly, sing second soprano for the Spaulding chorus just like she did a generation ago.

"It's just wonderful to see her up on the stage," said Helen Wheeler. "I also sang second soprano for the chorus here."

Ruthann Connelly, Haleigh's grandmother, agreed that seeing her granddaughter perform was an incredible holiday treat.

"It feels awesome," she said. "I'm very proud."

The freewheeling, fanciful production was performed for a packed house in the Community Center gym and was under the direction of Spaulding music directors Joanne Houston, Cheryl Richardson and Ron Goodwin.

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