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Hanukkah song dropped for Catholic school concert

AP Wire • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:57 AM

As a result, two music instructors who had been working with students declined to participate in the concert Tuesday night at Interlochen Arts Academy.

A traditional Jewish song, "Festival of Lights," was on the program for a concert by students from St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Middle School in Traverse City. The kids have been under the instruction of chorale director Jamie Geurkink and band director Cress Smith, under an agreement that puts public school teachers in Catholic schools.

Mike Buell, superintendent of Traverse City-area Catholic schools, scratched the Hanukkah song Monday and said students would have new leaders at the concert.

"I don't have a problem with Jewish music," Buell said. "But this is a Christmas festival, and that's what we've traditionally done. It's a Christ-focused time of our Advent season."

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