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CHOA Christmas parade led by West Forsyth musical theatre students
Students from West Forsyth High School's Studio West led the annual Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade on Saturday, Dec. 7. -Photos by Brian Lindvall.

Before the floats, dancers and massive helium-filled balloon characters began parading through the streets of Atlanta on Saturday, Dec. 7, the annual Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta Christmas Parade was kicked off with a musical theater performance by dozens of students from West Forsyth High School.

According to West Forsyth Educator Sarah Lindvall, 50 students from Studio West, the school’s theatre program, were selected to open the Atlanta holiday tradition, performing a choreographed “White Christmas Medley" from the musical “White Christmas.”

“The performance was excellent,” Lindvall said. “We were blown away by their professionalism, hard work and performance.”

Lindvall said that for her students to gain firsthand experience performing for thousands of people on live TV was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, and each of the 50 students handled the challenge beautifully.

This was the first time Studio West has been featured on such a large event, and the performance went a great distance towards introducing Studio West to the Greater Atlanta community while showing students what they are capable of accomplishing, she said.

“I was unbelievably excited to share our performance with so many people. We worked so hard and felt extremely prepared, so when the cameras started rolling and our music started playing, all I could feel was pure excitement.” West Forsyth junior Lauren Graham said after the event.

“The feeling was cool knowing that my parents were watching me on TV along with so many other people,” sophomore Merrick Theobald added.

With this huge accomplishment under their belt, Lindvall said that Studio West will be embarking on its 2019 Winter Showcase, which runs on Friday, Dec. 13 and Saturday, Dec. 14.

During the Winter Showcase, students will reprise the “White Christmas Medley” that was performed at the CHOA parade, along with other holiday songs and performances.

Tickets to the Winter Showcase and more information can be found online at