GAYVILLE — The gymnasium at Gayville-Volin School was filled with the sounds of Christmas Tuesday night, when it was the middle school and high school's Winter Concert.
It was a special night for Gayville-Volin's choir and band director Meghan Powell, as it was the first concert she has ever directed.
"It went really, really well, I think," said Powell, a Yankton High School grad, after the show. "I was happy with all the students."
The evening featured performances from the sixth and seventh grade band and choir, the high school band and choir, the All-State Choir delegates and alternatives, and a special Woman's Choir. Jeanie Wieger acted as accompanist for the sixth and seventh grade choir, and Laurie Hanson accompanied the high school choir.
"I think it went well," High school choir member Vanessa Ryken said. "Everybody liked it."
High school choir member Megan Bye added, "I think we sounded really good tonight. We all flowed together really well."
High school choir member Meghan Rice agreed, saying, "I think we sounded better than last year — we actually had three-part harmony."
"There were some really good songs this year, and it really came together the last two weeks of (rehearsal)," choir member Luke Buffington said.
"I think most of (the students) are really proud of what they are doing," Powell said. "They have really worked a lot."
Powell said the students have been rehearsing for the concert "just about every day" since early October.
"Since it was my first year, we started as early as possible," she said. "I was like, 'We're going to get it, and we're going to get it good.'"
The extensive rehearsals tested some of the students' patience, but Powell said they all pulled through in the end.
"It's been a little bit of a challenge trying to keep them really singing 'Frosty the Snowman,' but I think now they're getting more excited because it's so near," she said before the concert.
Powell said her favorite part of the process is "working with the students and seeing them grow."
She added that she has seen a lot of growth in the middle school band.
"When we first got the music, it was really hard to even get through it, and now they're kind of catching on and playing it really well," she said. "So that's really exciting, seeing them get more excited about playing."
Powell said one of her main challenges in organizing the show was choosing which numbers to perform.
"That was kind of hard," she said. "Coming here right away and having Christmas so early in the year, I didn't know how they played, as someone with more experience would have a better idea. So we had a couple different songs, and I would narrow it down, and those are the ones we would work on."
Luckily, Powell said she had a strong musical support system to rely on for advice.
"My mom's a former choir director and my dad's a band director, so I was constantly on the phone with them," she said. "I also have tons of friends and teachers that I've called and asked questions."
Overall, the rehearsal process and the concert itself were rewarding, Powell said.
"I've had a lot of fun," she said. "I've really enjoyed myself."
The sixth and seventh grade choir consists of 36 members, while the band consists of 18 members.
The high school choir has 48 members, and the high school band has 20 members.