Coffee, Cookies & Carols is an annual event in our school that teachers and students alike look forward to. 7th/8th grade students (advanced band members) perform holiday ensembles. The teachers, administration, custodians, cafeteria workers, and teacher aids are invited to the band hall for a morning of festive music. Our band parents provide cookies and coffee for the attendees.
TIMELINE FOR A SUCCESSFUL EVENT
mid-November: Students choose ensembles (members & music) to perform. The top band ensembles may choose 2-3 songs. Second band students choose 1 song. Students get class time to practice with their ensemble and perform the ensemble for the class ahead of time. (No time to put together ensembles? This could also be done with soloists instead. If you choose to have soloist, we recommend the Holiday Tunes with a Twist book for a variety of secular/non-secular and international tunes. This book also has various difficulty levels, key signature and range that is reproducible!)
End of November: Post invitations in areas where teachers and staff will see it. Top areas are the work room, mail room and restrooms. Include the invitation with the upcoming date in our weekly staff newsletter.
End of November: Recruit parent volunteers to pick up coffee, send in cookies, decorate the table and serve. If you have enough parent help, it allows you to float around to help students.
Early December: Students each get 5-10 invitations to hand out to their current and former teachers. Students PERSONALLY deliver the invitations to counselors, office staff, cafeteria workers and custodians. These are the same invitations we post around the school in November but printed 4 to a sheet and printed on red paper. Invite your feeder directors and high school band directors, fine arts director etc. as well.
Afternoon before the event (after school): I tape the “mini-invitations” to the doors of each classroom/office to remind staff members to come on down in the morning!
Day of the event: Once everything is ready to go, make an announcement over the PA to remind teachers to come down. They are busy! It is vital to make them feel invited and remind them frequently to get a good audience for the students.
6th grade students (who are not participating) hand out programs as teachers enter. Teachers are encouraged to grab a cup of coffee as they walk around. We have baggies for teachers to take a couple cookies back to the room for the day.
Students perform their carol over and over for the 30 minute time while teachers float around and listen at the doors to the practice. Teachers LOVE it!
We always have left over cookies and coffee at the end we deliver plates to the cafeteria workers and custodians first and then put the rest in the teacher’s lounge.
No time to put together ensembles? This could also be done with soloists stationed around the room. If you choose to have soloist, we recommend the Holiday Tunes with a Twist book for a variety of secular/non-secular and international tunes. This book also has various difficulty levels, key signature and range that is reproducible!