The John Morton-Finney Center for Educational Services (most commonly called the IPS Ed Center) transforms into center stage for dozens of IPS students spreading cheer each December during the district’s annual holiday student performances.

For David Newman, event director and IPS district fine arts instructional coach, the seasonal event strikes a particular bit of nostalgia.

“I remember playing at the Ed Center while a student at (Thomas Carr) Howe High School in the 1970s,” he said. “Being able to carry on an IPS tradition is important for me.”

Newman revived the event six years ago, and each year he selects a handful of school groups to perform during the lunch hour. Parents, teachers, administrators and IPS district staff are invited to enjoy their lunch while students act, sing and dance to much-loved holiday entertainment.

According to Newman, the free performances are also presented in appreciation of the employees at the Ed Center for all that they do for the students year-round.

“I work to get groups of students that haven’t had a lot of experience in performing,” said Newman. “That way, IPS staff that don’t get out to the schools often and the students’ parents can come during the day to see them.”

All grade levels will perform Dec. 10-12 for lunchtime merriment.


December 10

11 to 11:30 a.m.                  Elementary Children’s Choir – Edison School of the Arts 47                                                                   

11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.         Middle School Choir – Edison School of the Arts 47

12 to 12:30 p.m.                  George Washington Carver School 87

12:30 to 1 p.m.                    7th- and 8th-Grade Choir – William Penn School 49                                                                                                  


December 11

11 to 11:30 a.m.                    Band – Edison School of the Arts 47

11:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.           Theatre Troupe – Edison School of the Arts 47                                                                      

12 to 1 p.m.                            Dance and Movement – James Whitcomb Riley School 43


December 12

11 to 11:30 a.m.                    String Orchestra –Edison School of the Arts 47

12 to 1 p.m.                            Performance Band and String Ensembles – Shortridge High School