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Fourth-grade Riverside Elementary student Brandon McDermott is a "little bit nervous" to tackle the prince's role in the upcoming holiday presentation of "The Nutcracker."

"I'm kind of excited too," he said during rehearsal Monday, Dec. 3.

McDermott will be joined by other members of his grade, about 100 in all, during a special presentation of "The Nutcracker Suite" at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 11, at the high school.

According to music teacher and show director Melissa Lingle, the free performance uses Tchaikovsky's original music with clever, plot-progressing lyrics.

"Each year, the fourth-graders of the Riverside School District combine their talents to put on a holiday show for the community," Lingle said. "Sally Albrecht, an award winning composer and expert in children's musical productions, took Tchaikovsky's original music and wrote charming lyrics that tell the story of Clara (Kelsey Howey) and her Nutcracker (Hunter Geise) who becomes a Prince (McDermott).

Lingle explained that the production is a chance for our fourth graders to perform classical music, enjoy acting out a magical adventure and tell a fantastic story through dance. Our dancers are not classically-trained ballet students, but with careful choreography put together by 16-year-old Julie Kester of Joan's Dance Studio, the music is brought to life with simple beauty through both song and dance by our fourth grade students. It is a musical experience that will long be remembered by the Riverside students."