Portsmouth City School District kicked off its holiday season of Christmas programs, beginning with a K-3 performance at East Portsmouth Elementary on Dec. 6. Sixty students at EPE performed Christmas at the North Pole, and they sang songs and danced with Santa and Mrs. Claus, and the reindeer and the elves.

“They were amazing. They worked very hard to learn all of their lines. They were super excited and they were all smiling and dressed up. It was super fun for everyone,” said EPE Music Teacher Sara Born. “I really enjoy sharing my love of music and dance with the kids and seeing them so excited to perform for their friends and family.”

The next program will be first-grade students at Portsmouth Elementary performing the musical, “This Old Gingerbread House,” at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 8. Twenty-six first-grade class members perform in the show about Hanzel and Gretel taking over the mortgage at the former gingerbread home of the Wicked Witch – (spoiler alert) the neighbors keep eating the house.

“It’s a story about respect and the neighbors learn about respecting others’ property,” said PES Music Teacher Laurie O’Brien. “Honestly, this is the best first-grade group. Almost everyone has everything memorized and they know all their moves. They’re doing really good.”

After that, third-grade students at Portsmouth Elementary School will perform “A Rainbow Christmas” at the elementary school, beginning at 6:30 p.m. on Dec. 13. Thirty students put on the show about accepting others.

“We have colorful creatures and we have black and white creatures, and the black and white creatures don’t want to let the colorful creatures participate in their Christmas celebration,” O’Brien said. “Santa and the reindeer and elves come and convince them that it doesn’t matter what color you are because we can all celebrate together.”

Then on Dec. 15, the Trojan Express choir will perform at Portsmouth Elementary at 6:30 p.m. Trojan Express is a program for 5-6 grade students who audition and are chosen to join the choir. Forty-five students make up this year’s choir and will sing and dance to Christmas music.

“I’ve been doing this for 25 years and I’m used to the excitement students have at this time of year, but I’m always amazed at how well the kids stay focused, and it always comes off really good. It’s a props to the kids that even with all their excitement, they can still work hard,” O’Brien said.

The season concludes with a performance by the Portsmouth Junior and High School Choir in the high school auditorium on Dec. 18 at 2:30 p.m. All shows at Portsmouth Schools are free to the public. Visitors to shows at Portsmouth Elementary are asked to enter through the Fourth Street entrance. 

For more information about Portsmouth City Schools, visit them online at, or follow the school’s page on Facebook.