Filling the community with carols


Nicole Genrich

All choir students well be delivering carol-o-grams throughout the community on Dec. 7 and 8. The carols are sold as a fundraiser for the choir department.

Madeline Campbell, Lead Reporter

Rounding off its 10th year in the district, Carol-o-grams will return once again as the choir continues to spread holiday cheer throughout the community. Each year choir students are required to sell carol-o-grams as a fundraiser for the Choir Department. On Dec. 9 and 10, the students will be grouped and sent off to deliver the Christmas gifts in the form of song.

“It’s such a great tradition,” assistant choir director Chris Mason said. “We make it fun because we have a cocoa, cider, and cookie party afterwards and people come back and they tell their stories. There’s always something funny that happens like a baby runs into the snow or like ‘their dog jumped on me’ or just fun things that happen.”

Choir mom and co-fundraising chair, Dorinda Smith, appreciates the event as both a fundraiser and a team building activity.

“Carol-O-Grams is our only fundraiser of the year and it benefits the Choir program by helping to fund clinicians, music purchases, and expenses to produce our concerts and pop show,” Smith said. “In addition it’s a time of fun and bonding for the parents and students that participate.”

Choir President, junior Rachel Bradley, has memories from past years keep that her excited about each new trip around the district.

“It’s so fun to go out with a group of friends and get to sing to random strangers and see the joy on their faces,” Bradley said “It’s really fun. My freshman year, we went to a house and their dog got out when they opened the door. So we had to run around their yard trying to catch the dog and bring him back in.”

Being a part of the district since its first year, Carol-o-grams are as much a part of the district’s traditions as the volleyball legacy and senior pep rallies.

“People even call us saying that they got a Carol-o-gram last year and that they want to make sure they get one this year,” Mason said. “It’s a real community expectation at this point.”

The carols sung at each house include a compilation of The First Noel, Joy to the World, Jingle Bells, Silent Night, and We Wish You a Merry Christmas that is modified each year. The $25 carols are a successful way to fund the choir that is unique and special.

“I think they are the easiest thing to sell because everyone loves carol singers and because it is a less common tradition this day and age than it was even when I was a kid, 20 years ago,” Mason said. “I think it was more common, people would walk door to door. That’s another thing about Lovejoy, the houses are further apart so people are less inclined to walk especially when it is so cold.”

Choir parents volunteer to drive the students around to the different houses.

“As a driver I remember trying to find the right house in an unfamiliar dark Lovejoy neighborhood, but it was worth the joy of hearing the beautiful carols sung by our students and seeing the faces of those that received the carols,” Smith said. “This is a busy time of year for students, but they enjoy caroling and the feeling of giving to others.”

Unlike with other fundraisers, the buyers of Carol-o-grams get the opportunity to share something immaterial with the people around them.

“A lot of times [parents] will buy them for their neighbors because they think they need to send over a basket of cookies,” Mason said. “This is more personal and it has that human voice and it spreads the cheer in a different way.”

Not only do the carols offer a new type of experience for the recipients, they are also a great way to strengthen the choir as a unit.

“We mix up the groups so the kids get to know different students in choir,” Mason said. “It is nice, especially for younger students, because they get to have the experience of singing with seniors and it’s a good way to grow singers and to build the community in the choir.”

Smith knows that the power of the Christmas songs is further reaching than its financial benefit.

“Carol-O-Grams is not only a fundraiser but a community service,” Smith said. “The Carolers have brought joy and uplifted spirits during holidays since [the school] was opened. Choir is something our students will have with them for the rest of their lives. They grow so much as singers and make wonderful friendships in the Choir family.”