Broadway star and Tony Award nominee J. Robert Spencer’s recently released song, “Waiting on Christmas,” features St. Agatha School students singing in the background. The single aims to join the ranks of classic family Christmas songs with its catchy tune of holiday cheer. It was released on Thanksgiving for digital download and streaming on major platforms.

Chris Harris, principal of the Southeast Portland school, was thrilled to get the call that Spencer was looking to add children’s voices to the track.

“Helping the students discover their gifts and talents through the arts is a key component to our Catholic education,” said Harris.

Fifth graders in the girls choir were given the opportunity to be a part of the recording process and lend their voices as backing vocals. Spencer recorded with them in St. Agatha Church last year.

“It is sort of mind-blowing,” said Amelia St. Amand, now a sixth grader. “I can’t believe we got to record a song with someone who is on Broadway.”

“It made me feel special, and I’m overjoyed to be able to tell friends and my family that they can hear us on iTunes,” added classmate Megan Case.

Sixth grader Serafina Preciso said that after listening, she realized that “someday maybe we could be on Broadway, too.”

Spencer will donate a portion of the proceeds from the song to support Catholic education, including assisting with the annual appeal for St. John the Baptist School in Milwaukie, where his son is enrolled. Spencer said he hopes to raise funds and awareness for tuition assistance to help families afford the best educational opportunities for their children. Every download helps support local Catholic education.

St. Agatha student Lucy Ruhnke said her dad creates the family’s Christmas playlist every year, “and he is pretty selective.”

“So when he added this song to our playlist I felt pretty good. It’s pretty amazing to be able to sing with my friends and learn about the process with such an awesome professional singer.”