Christmas Carolers Raise funds for Cancer Society Relay for Life
School of Music student Teri Slade thought of the perfect Christmas gift—song! She and a large team of carolers spent December 1st to 24th singing Christmas music in beautiful four part harmony all over St. John’s, raising over $2500.00 for charity in the process.
The money will go to The Canadian Cancer Society and the whole project is linked with the Relay for Life, an all night fundraising walk that will take place at Memorial University on January 29th http://convio.cancer.ca/site/TR?fr_id=9620&pg=entry . Teri’s team, not surprisingly, is called "Christmas Carolers”. For Teri, the caroling project exceeded her wildest expectations:
"The number of carollers came out to be around 75, which is fantastic, in my opinion. I wasn't expecting that many volunteers, but several people went caroling multiple times, and some even volunteered for extra times after they had experienced the caroling. The outpouring of support was really something to see. With it being the time for exams, performances and Christmas chaos, several people had to cancel, and we were very blessed to have lots of people who were willing to give more of their time wherever a group needed them. If it weren't for their generosity, a lot of carolers would not have been able to go out.
There was a total of 27 carolling groups, the majority of them being quartets, the smallest group being 2 and the largest being 6. Most of them were students, but some were members of the Philharmonic Choir, church choirs, and community members. One of my adult piano students signed up for a day on which she brought three other carollers with her, which was a wonderful surprise.
The majority of groups went house to house, but there were also groups that did carol-busking in places where people were shopping. One group went to a school breakfast program, and we had several groups which went office to office (and I must admit that the Marine Institute has the highest concentration of Christmas spirit) as well as carolling at some office Christmas parties which had requested our presence. Having been with about 20 of the carolling groups, I must say the door-to-door groups were the most fun. Not only did those groups get to hear little children sing along to "Jingle Bells" or "Joy to the World", but they also got to sing to those with special needs or crippling illnesses (children, adult or elderly) who sometimes aren't as able to see concerts of choral music. It is also something special to see the look on the faces of people who have probably never heard a group of classical musicians singing in 4-part harmony, much less having them crowded around their doorstep in the misty rain in the middle of December. Of course, some of those who answered the door to our singing had a background in music, and I'm happy to say that they all seemed to enjoy our effort, enthusiasm, blend, balance, or sometimes even our arrangements!"
The Christmas Carolers sang on all but three days between December 1st and 24th, braving all but the worst weather. Raising money for Cancer was far from their only reward. Not only did the carolers enjoy a heartwarming welcome from people, but they also used the opportunity to work on their sightsinging. As Teri noted "Most of the groups had only one or two people per part, so obviously many grew in their vocal confidence. Even the groups with more support on each part (for those that weren't comfortable being the only person singing alto, for example) I think their experience did build their independence. I even saw one non-music student go from being one of four people singing soprano, to feeling comfortable enough being the only person singing alto. It was just tremendous!"
How do you top the perfect Christmas present? Well, the Christmas Carolers will continue to raise money for the Cancer Society right up until the 29th of January. You can make a donation – and get a tax receipt – online at www.rflcarollers.org. Since the site only shows the money raised online, funds raised are on top of what the team raised through caroling.