By Sarah Norton
At the January Residents’ Council meeting, the “Pioneer’s Carolers,” gave a report on their first season of caroling around the Square. The group, made of PS residents, had eight singers and the musical selections were compiled and arranged by Nile Norton of the Florentine.
Excerpts from the Report
“The Pioneer’s Carolers made three outings in the Pioneer Square, plus a private party in the Florentine. We hit the streets for our debut appearance on “First Thursday”, December 4. We made short stops at businesses along 1st and 2nd Avenues, Jackson, King, Occidental, Washington, Yesler, and Main Streets. We limited the length of stay at each establishment to around ten minutes, not wanting to interfere with “business as usual.” In every case, the response was very positive.
We carried a basket for donations. We received $150.15, which we donated to the Bread of Life mission. The “extra” 15 cents of the total has a story—
At our last stop one evening, we found ourselves at the Pergola, where three homeless men and a woman were gathered. We asked if they might enjoy hearing a carol. They agreed, and requested “Silent Night.” They listened attentively and then requested a livelier tune. We obliged with “Jingle Bells.” The woman in the group then volunteered her version of “O Holy Night” in her best, well-worn voice. We thanked her for her selection and began to leave, when one of the men stopped us and, reaching into his pocket, dropped 15 cents in our basket. “I want to help too. Merry Christmas!” he added.”
Plans for the future
The group will keep most of the songs for next year, but start a little earlier with weekly rehearsals to get the carols memorized. There was also some talk about entering the “Figgy Pudding” competition in addition to our primary goal of providing holiday music for Pioneer Square events!
We know there is still a pool of singers, secreted somewhere in the neighborhood, who would be welcome additions to the 2015 Caroling group. The more, the merrier!