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Fifteenth annual pageant celebrates spirit of Christmas

Jacqueline+Johnson+%28center%29+and+Grace+McClain+%28above+Johnson%29+onstage+surrounded+by+Xavier+dancers+at+the+fifteenth+annual+Christmas+pageant+in+the+Virginia+G.+Piper+Performing+Arts+Center+on+Friday%2C+Dec.+1%2C+2017.
Jacqueline Johnson (center) and Grace McClain (above Johnson) onstage surrounded by Xavier dancers at the fifteenth annual Christmas pageant in the Virginia G. Piper Performing Arts Center on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.

Jacqueline Johnson (center) and Grace McClain (above Johnson) onstage surrounded by Xavier dancers at the fifteenth annual Christmas pageant in the Virginia G. Piper Performing Arts Center on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.

Courtesy of Xavier College Prep

Courtesy of Xavier College Prep

Jacqueline Johnson (center) and Grace McClain (above Johnson) onstage surrounded by Xavier dancers at the fifteenth annual Christmas pageant in the Virginia G. Piper Performing Arts Center on Friday, Dec. 1, 2017.

Madison Kloeber, Managing Editor

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Xavier’s fifteenth annual Christmas Pageant on Friday, Dec. 1 celebrated the coming Advent season.

The pageant–which was the culmination of several months worth of preparation and the combined efforts of the Xavier choir, dance department, musicians, and sound and lighting technicians–was a beautiful rendition of the nativity.

Senior Sara Valentine, an assistant stage manager, said this year’s pageant was “one of the best” she has seen. Valentine attributed the success of the show to the lead dancers Jacqueline Johnson and Grace McClain, the choir and the set.

According to Valentine the set consisted of approximately 20 trees, numerous wreaths and an innumerable amount of stringed lights. Preparing the set was “tedious” and “had to be perfect, which made it even more difficult.” The process of unboxing, preparing and decorating the trees alone took over a week.

Narrated by junior Annika Salazar, who was also an assistant stage manager, the pageant tells the story of how Mary (Johnson) gave birth to Jesus. The angel Gabriel (McClain) appeared to Mary and asked her to be the mother of the Son of God, Jesus. Mary, accepted the call from the Lord and carried Jesus for nine months before giving birth at an inn. The three wise men presented gifts to Mary and her son.

The Christmas pageant has been a part of Xavier’s advent celebrations since 2002. Every year since has observed a different pageant theme with this year’s theme being “More Precious than Diamonds,” as a nod to the diamond jubilee.

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Fifteenth annual pageant celebrates spirit of Christmas