Hundreds of students, parents and community members came to the Westfield Valencia Town Center Thursday night to support choirs from all over the Santa Clarita Valley to come together as a community after the tragedy that unfolded at Saugus High School on Nov. 14.
“We are here to pay honor to those lost and injured and to all you beautiful young people,” said Marsha Mclean, mayor of the city of Santa Clarita. “We will never forget what happened, but we will make it better.”
She added: “Tonight we are #SaugusStrong.”
More than 150 choir students from SCV schools sang “Carol of the Bells” together by the grand Christmas tree in front of JCPenney. Multiple audience members recalled getting chills as they held the students sing in unison. As the students were singing, a snow machine created a winter scene in the mall.
Saugus High School choir members were placed in front of the Christmas tree while other schools surrounded them on the second level of the plaza.
Abigail Waldron, a Saugus choir student, performed with her group after only having the opportunity to practice once. Due to the tragedy at Saugus, they were unable to practice in the previous week; however, their performance was not affected and they were able to perform an angelic performance wearing silver halos.
“It is really neat to be a part of something that is this huge,” said Waldron. “I was really looking forward to being part of a choir with so many different people and schools.”
Once they concluded their performance, the schools dispersed and performed at different locations across the property.
As a part of Westfield’s Give Thanks Thursdays, they are partnering with different organizations and foundations to give back to the community during this holiday season. These partners will be surprising people throughout the mall by buying their Christmas gifts for them, according to Corinne Barchanowicz, senior general manager at Westfield.