Students, faculty and friends of Eastern Mennonite School in Harrisonburg decided to give a big gift to the community this past weekend.
More than 100 people formed a "flash mob" at a number of stores in the Harrisonburg Crossing Shopping Center.
EMS music teacher Jay Hartzler and students started singing songs like "Joy to the World," "Angels We Have Heard on High" and "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" to unsuspecting shoppers Saturday.
The group started with about 100 people at Wal-Mart. It then traveled to Best Buy and Barnes and Noble.
By the time it reached the lasts stop, the group had grown to around 200 people, because many shoppers joined in and followed the group from store to store.
The group of students were inspired after seeing the viral video of the Opera Company of Philadelphia bursting into the "Hallelujah" chorus from Handel's "Messiah" to unsuspecting Macy's customers.
"Since we are known as a school that values music, singing and spreading cheer, we're planned to do something similar as a surprise for our community," says Mary Golden-Hughes, the director of Advancement for Eastern Mennonite School.
In addition to the singing, EMS will hold its "Messiah" concert Tuesday night at 7:30 p.m. in the EMS auditorium on Parkwood Drive.
Last week's snow forced the event to be rescheduled.
More than 125 student vocalists and instrumentalists are featured including the Valley's only high school orchestra. There are also guest soloists performing.
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