A Pirate Christmas

A Pirate Christmas stole hearts and shared the spirit of Christmas!

After a one year hiatus due to COVID, New Horizons Academy’s annual Christmas musical returned to the Pettisville Missionary Church stage on December 14, 2021. The musical featured pirates and elves stealing our hearts and sharing the spirit of Christmas in A Pirate Christmas: The Musical by John Jacobson and Roger Emerson.

The sentiment heard over and over throughout the evening was “I’m so glad to see our kids back up on the stage. They are true stars and inspirations to us all!”

Just like the exhausted elves in the musical had to confront the rollicking pirates to find their inspiration and Christmas spirit, NHA’s special needs kids confronted their anxiety, fears, nerves, and stage fright to show us all the true meaning of courage and Christmas.

The contingent of vacationing elves was led by Head Elf Rebecca Myers and the legendary White Beard (aka Santa Claus) Josiah Acevedo while the salty crew of pirates were led by the Pirate Captain Anne Deffenbaugh and the Tiny Pirate Vivian Beck as together, they discovered what true treasure really is.

Our inspirational, preschool to high school cast members included:

  • Elves—Odin Tressler, Jeremiah Hernandez, Bruce Babcock, Ruby Snider, Danny Halmi, Annabelle Buehrer, Temperence Gillen, Jase Tressler, Orion Bailey-Lacy, Remington Shulters, Chance Zolman, Chase Thompson, Raylan Holbrook, Kyson Davidson, Axl McCarthy, Molly Boylan, Mark Jacobs, Danielle Tillson, Nadia Hancher, Breya Zolman, Clara Hollo, Eric Spiller, Joseph Green, Jimmy Forrest, Abbie Thomas, Cierra Flores, Lily Ringler, Sam Allen, Justin Bauer, Grayson Snider, and Michael Graham with Reindeer Luke Chambers and Jackson Snider.
  • Tiny Pirates—Colt Tammarine, Elena Smith, Ella Sancrant, Silas Johnson, Samuel Jimenez, Caleb Martin, Aliza Murray, Derek Ramey, Jensen Davenport, Owen Lewis, Tyler Shelton, Draven Tressler, Gavin Appel, Maverick McCarthy, Flynn Gallagher, William Ash, and Dakota Bricker.
  • Pirates—Isaiah Canales, Darien Homan, Levi Bettinger, Jackson Steiner (and parrot), Eli Saneholtz, Alexander Aguirre, Ben Rickenberg, Kamil Plaza, Seamus Brookes, Ethan Pieper, Taylar Alpaugh, Ashlyn Impton, Cole Hicks, Christian Lee, Izzy Armas, Liberty Wilson, Isiah Anders, Sterling Snider, Jaedyn Knight, Elizabeth Heberling, Auron Tanksley, Dominic Petz, Emma Wymer, Julie Stiff, Mason Rego, Syndel Barker, Cadince Ramirez, and Josh Parran.

Together, they performed Island Christmas; Pirates All Are We; Give and Take; Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Boots; He’s a Pirate; It’s Cool To Be Cool; Christmas Joy; Blimey Carols; and Silent Night.

In addition to the cast of elves and pirates, NHA students served as:

  • Channel 1 News Casters—Noah Nagel, Gabe Hobby, Kyler Campbell, Daymon Plassman, and Tyler Davidoff
  • Living Nativity Members—Omira Santillanes, Mark Jacobs, Cole Hicks, Ashlyn Impton, Ruby Snider, Jaedyn Knight, Emma Wymer, Danielle Tillson, Beaux Barrett, Lily Ringler, Christian Lee, Josh Parran, and Mason Rego.
  • Backstage and Lobby Assistants—Noah Nagel, Ava Keim, Tony Conti, Chase Burmeister, Gavin Leal, Alex Williams, Jackson Snider, Hannah Engler, Chloe Ruhnke, and Justin Tanksley.

This inspirational, Christmas musical was made possible by our dedicated NHA staff and teachers, especially Music Teacher Melissa Valentine. This was her creation and brain child. Without Melissa, this Christmas miracle would not have been possible. Without all of her hard work, vision, dedication, and creativity, the show would not have gone on. She found or created the absolute perfect role for each of our students’ abilities and personalities and corralled and coached over 100 of our special needs kids through the entire Christmas show. Melissa was truly our North Star, leading the way to Christmas!

If you missed this special Christmas production, check out our photos on Facebook or log onto our YouTube channel for your own special, encore performance.

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