Another year is coming to a close, but leave it to the Jamestown Skating Academy to wrap it all up in a nice little figurative bow - and a holiday one at that.
"Ice Christmas,'' performed by the JSA's nationally renowned figure skaters, the Junior Guilders and Infinity Music, will premiere at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena.
The event marks the first time the JSA - under the direction of Kirk Wyse and Lenel van den Berg - has produced a Christmas show, but it's hardly the first time the organization has put its considerable talents on display for the greater Jamestown area to enjoy.
Photo submitted to Times Observer
Warren County skaters participating in the Ice Christmas figure skating show with the Jamestown Skating Academy Sunday at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena include, from left, in front, Julia Bauer, Samantha Dalrymple and Stephanie Hice and, in back, Jaylyn Orwig, Kirsten DiPierro, Rebecca Hummel, Eleanor Elchert and Rebekah Casey.
"It's something that makes our program unique, not just in this area, but in the United States,'' van den Berg said. "There are maybe a handful of skating programs in the country that are putting on shows of this caliber, and that's something we're really proud of.''
For years, the JSA has performed Excellence On Ice each spring and it has been met with positive reviews, van den Berg said, so he felt it only appropriate to try a production at Christmas.
"I was the one who really pushed for it,'' van den Berg said. "The kids absolutely love the show. They just really love doing it. It's so much fun for them to perform and they're having such a ball preparing for this one."
JSA students, singers from the Junior Guilders under the direction of Helen Merrill, and musicians from Infinity, under the direction of Mark Alpaugh, will collaborate in productions entitled Winter Wonderland, Christmas at the USO and White Christmas.
"They have some wonderful moments in the show,'' Wyse said of the Junior Guilders. "We're just thrilled to be working with them. Helen Merrill is a show-biz legend in Jamestown and to be able to bring her Guilders into the show is so great."
As for Infinity's group, The Milestones, Wyse described them as "wonderful.''
"They will be performing a musical number on their own and they will be playing live as our skaters perform to their music,'' Wyse said.
The JSA students, ranging in age from 6 to 18, will include solo performances and group numbers.
"Lenel has done 98 percent of the choreography,'' Wyse said, "and what I've seen is brilliant. It's showcasing our best talent. Because of the music and the way the kids are relating to it, there are just some incredible moments in this show. The costumes are beautiful, the lighting is phenomenal. It's the ultimate Christmas spectacular."
Furthermore, if history is any lesson, many JSA students will use their experience from Ice Christmas to eventually land a job with a professional company.
"At any given time," Wyse said, "there's a skater from Jamestown performing in a professional show on almost every continent in the world. ... That's a really cool thing and it all comes from the joy that they experienced from performing in our shows here in Jamestown."
General admission tickets are $10 and are available at the Jamestown Savings Bank Ice Arena box office and online at www.IceChristmas.com. Call the box office at (716) 484-2624 for more information. Ice Christmas is sponsored by The Post-Journal, The Dunkirk OBSERVER, The Warren Times Observer and SE93.