Holy Cross' youngest students shine in the biblical musical "Spend Awhile on the Nile."

Some of Holy Cross School's youngest students performed for a packed house on Tuesday night.

The pre-k through third grade students performed a musical called "Spend awhile on the Nile" for their second trimester concert.

In the play, members of the Holy Cross School, split primarily into boys and girls chorus sections, were taken on a cruise down the Nile while the ship's crew and a few fellow students brought to life the stories of Joseph, Moses and Abraham through song and dance.

"This is hands down the hardest production we've done," said Heather Swartzentruber, who directed the production and is a music teacher at Holy Cross. "There were a lot of solo pieces; it's a challenge, especially with the CD accompaniment and the timing."

After December auditions, students began rehearsing the production. Each grade level would practice in their individual classrooms. The whole group rehearsed together just twice before taking the stage.

The show also has two different casts. Swartzentruber recruited actors for both a day cast and a night cast, to ensure that if someone got sick there would be a backup.

"Luckily no one got sick this year," Swartzentruber said.

One of the show's main characters, Mr. Cruise, captain of the Nile cruise ship, was a little taller than the rest of the children. Mr. Cruise was actually Ms. Rita Welch, an eighth grader at Holy Cross who volunteered for the role.

"When Mrs. S said she might need a middle school student for the play I was like 'oh me, me me'" Welch said. "I'm really interested in all the performing arts; I'd like to be on Broadway someday."

Another one of the show's main characters was Gwyneth Southard, who played Liza, Mr. Cruise's daughter.

"I've always wanted to be a star," the second grader declared. "The hardest part was remembering your lines. My favorite part was singing my solo."

Gwyneth's sister, Josselyn, was also a part of the production. She sang as part of the chorus.

"I love to sing and do the moves," Josselyn said. "My favorite part was when we got to sing."

The students high-kicked, shimmied and sang their hearts out to nine different songs over the course of the hour-long performance.

The final Holy Cross performance of the school year will be held on May 28 at 6:30 p.m.