Sydney Brummel—Staff Writer
On the chilly evening of Dec. 2, 2019, an ensemble from Dordt University’s Concert Choir gathered at Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center. The singers, with warmed up voices and cheerful smiles, entered the reception hall, in which they delivered their very first “carol-o-gram” of the holiday season. While the Christmas party of Premier Communications took place, the musical group traveled around the spacious room and sang a collection of carols to the audience. As the choir ensemble departed from their first caroling stop, the crowd thanked them with applause, laughter, and smiles.
For the following two weeks, the Concert Choir traveled throughout the surrounding community in small groups to spread some Christmas cheer in song. They stopped by assisted living and retirement homes, business Christmas parties, and the homes of the parents and grandparents of Dordt community members.
“I remember that it was a lot of fun,” Josh Tatton, now a senior, said. “A good way to get to know the other choir members.”
The musical visits around the area in December of 2019 took place as a fundraising opportunity for the Concert Choir’s tour of the Northeast United States that occured the following spring. Those interested in having carols sung to themselves, to their family members, or to their friends requested for an ensemble to visit at a given date, time, and place.
Tatton remembered the experience as gratifying, particularly when visiting nearby nursing homes.
“When you go to these people who have been through a ton, and them appreciating God’s talents given to people…I think that’s really rewarding,” Tatton said. “It’s just seeing the joy on their face.”
After two years, Dordt’s Concert Choir plans to revive the tradition of carol-o-grams. Small groups out of the choir will travel around Sioux Center and the surrounding area throughout the first few weeks of December. For anyone interested, ensembles will gladly visit the individual, family, business, or Christmas party of their choosing and sing a small compilation of classic Christmas songs.
“It’s good for students because they enjoy singing together, building camaraderie, and spreading the good news of Christmas through song,” Ryan Smit, director of the choirs at Dordt University, said. “It’s good for the community because it gives people an opportunity to send the joy of Christmas to someone else in a unique and beautiful way.”
Once more, this season’s carol-o-grams will serve as a fundraiser in which the proceeds will support the Concert Choir’s May 2022 international tour to Austria and the Czech Republic.
“It has proven to be a good fundraising event,” Tatton said. “They’re a ton of fun, and it gets everyone in the Christmas spirit.”
If you would like to send a musical dose of the message of Christmas this December to a loved family member, friend, or neighbor and donate to the Concert Choir, contact Professor Smit at firstname.lastname@example.org.