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"Wait and see."

That's the approach that Americans United for Separation of Church and State will be taking regarding Brookfield Central High School's Annual Concert of Sacred Music.

In December the Washington, D.C.-based organization sent a letter to School District of Elmbrook Superintendent Mark Hansen and Brookfield Central Principal Brett Gruetzmacher with concerns about the concert.

"We have received a complaint regarding Brookfield Central High School's 'Annual Concert of Sacred Music,'" the letter read. "The church was replete with uncovered religious iconography, including a large crucifix displayed directly behind the performing students as well as a screen with images of haloed religious figures."

In the months since receiving the letter, the Elmbrook School Board agreed to move the concert from St. Mary's Visitation Parish in Elm Grove to the Shattuck Auditorium at Carroll University.

The district sent its formal response to Americans United earlier this month which read in full:

"The Elmbrook School District is in receipt of your letter dated December 15, 2016. The Brookfield Central High School concert you referenced in that letter has been scheduled at an alternate location beginning in the 2017-2018 school year. Our school and community remains committed to offering rich experiences through our curriculum. We are also committed to an annual review of music to be performed over the next year to ensure we remain in compliance with local, state and federal guidelines."

Americans United Staff Attorney Ian Smith said in April that he was encouraged by the board's decision to move the concert, but would await judgment regarding what music would be performed.

The December letter pointed to songs such as "Do You Hear What I Hear?" and "O Holy Night" as being inappropriate, in addition to the venue itself.

Americans United Associate Legal Director Alex Luchenitser seconded Smith's stance Monday.

"We're pleased that the location of the concert has been changed. We just have to wait and see with respect to the content of the concert," Luchenitser said. "We're going to just keep watching and keep monitoring it."

Luchenitser noted that it is nothing new for Americans United to be contacted with complaints about music with religious themes around the holidays.

"We're often contacted with respect to the issue of religious music in public schools," Luchenitser said. "It's not unusual for this kind of issue to come up."

Elmbrook Chief Information Officer Chris Thompson said the district is eager to move forward.

"We have appropriately responded to the concerns identified in the Americans United complaint and we look forward to another outstanding year of choral music in 2017-2018," Thompson said. 

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