It’s that time of the year again, when tacky sweaters are the main choice of attire and Christmas music can be heard everywhere you go. Christmas music is the easiest way to spread joy and cheer during the season of giving, and that is exactly what the choir did on December 3rd. This is the fifth year that the boys have sung at the St. Joseph’s Retirement Community in South Dallas.
St. Joseph’s is “a really special community, they’re always very appreciative when [the choir] comes out to see them,” said Mr. Crownover, the Assistant Director of Music at Jesuit. He added that “they don’t get a lot of visitors,” explaining that Jesuit chooses to go there to “give a service of presence, just being there and trying to spread a little joy and cheer for people who don’t get to connect with others much during the holidays.”
The choir sings a medley of traditional holiday songs when they attend St. Joseph’s. “We basically have an old hymnal,” noted Mr. Crownover, with tunes such as “Silent Night, Deck the Halls, Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” He continued, emphasizing that “if it’s pleasant and upbeat [they’re] probably gonna sing it.”
The choir usually brings about fifteen students to go caroling. They load one of the student buses and travel to South Dallas in the morning (2nd period), returning to school later for the end-of-the-day classes. “It’s all underclassmen,” said Mr. Crownover, “because the seniors are already dedicated to their own service sites on Wednesdays.”
Mr. Crownover personally enjoyed “getting the boys out there and really interacting with members of the community that are disenfranchised and kinda cut off from society in a lot of ways, because of their disabilities.” Mr. Crownover finished by saying that “it’s really a blessing to be able to do this and they are always so excited to see [the choir] come spend some time with them and spread some cheer.”
Bass Stewart ’17 says this is the first year he’s “had the opportunity to sing with the choir,” as well as his first year Christmas caroling. Although Bass is “not technically a part of the actual class,” Men’s Chorus, he sings with the choir at “about every event and prayer service.” Bass likes singing for the choir because it “brings you closer to the other dudes you’re with.” When it comes to Christmas caroling, Bass says that he will be having a good time no matter what he’s doing, “whether it be glancing at [the guys] because you know you’re out of tune or just having a good time.” This is great to hear, knowing that the Christmas caroling not only spreads happiness to the recipients, but also to the singers.
Bass’s favorite part of the caroling is “probably after it’s done,” having “the satisfaction of knowing [he] did something worthwhile.” Giving back to the community during the Christmas season is great, especially through spreading cheer and happiness. Bass concluded by saying that, “Men’s Chorus is a good program that is always welcome to take any new volunteers or just anyone that wants to sing.”
The choir does a great job spreading Christmas cheer to people who don’t have the opportunity to enjoy Christmas as much in their old age. There’s no better way to do so then through caroling, and it’s great that the choir gets out and does this. Hopefully the choir’s caroling program will continue to celebrate Christmas at the retirement home for years to come.