Christmas Caroling Ministry Tour, Inc. does exactly what the name says it does! We learn up to 27 rich traditional Christmas hymns, songs and carols that reflect on the birth of Jesus Christ without excuse. There are a couple of songs that may not be considered one of the traditional carols, but yet with a few minor tweaks, the focus is put back onto Christ. We do get written permission from various artists prior to taking a couple of lyrical liberties. The Board of Directors has the exclusive and final say as to which songs CCMT will sing to the community as well as when and where we sing those songs.
(Solo parts, duets and trios are assigned in almost all songs; however, EVERYTHING can also be sung as a group instead.)
1) ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH
2) AWAY IN A MANGER
3) BABY JESUS WE LOVE YOU
4) DECK THE HALLS
5) DO YOU HEAR WHAT I HEAR?
6) FELIZ NAVIDAD
7) GO TELL IT ON THE MOUNTAIN
8) HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING
9) I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY NARRATIVE
10) I HEARD THE BELLS ON CHRISTMAS DAY
11) EASTER SONG MERGED WITH #9
12) IT CAME UPON A MIDNIGHT CLEAR
13) IT’S CHRISTMAS DAY
14) JINGLE BELL ROCK
15) JINGLE BELLS
16) JOY TO THE WORLD
17) MARY DID YOU KNOW?
18) O’ COME ALL YE FAITHFUL
19) O’ HOLY NIGHT
20) O’ LITTLE TOWN OF BETHLEHEM
21) O’ WHAT A SPECIAL NIGHT
22) ODE TO JOY
23) SILENT NIGHT
24) THE FIRST NOEL
25) THE LITTLE DRUMMER BOY
26) WE WISH YOU A MERRY CHRISTMAS
27) WHAT CHILD IS THIS?
At CCMT we know first hand that when someone has a song memorized that the sound and delivery of the song is more fluent and powerful. So every week, we have a weekly memorization contest. We assign 4 - 5 songs each week and whoever comes back with the most songs memorized wins one of the prizes! We have divided the choir into 2 age groups so that each age group has a chance to win. Ages 6 - 9 and ages 10 - 18. The prizes consist of gift cards, stockings of candy, leading the choir in a rehearsal or performance or getting a chance to bake Christmas goodies with the adults etc. The grand prize on the last night of rehearsal is $50.00 cash for anyone in each age group who memorizes at least 20 of the songs in their entirety! Last year, one of our 11 year old carolers won the $50.00 prize and no one else came that close...just saying, age may not be a factor on whether or not you can win! How many will you memorize this year?
Not many of our carolers know how to read music proper or sight sing directly from sheet music. So, we email and text YouTube links of each of the songs we learn with the lyrics and not actual videos with actors and actresses acting the parts as to tell a story. We choose the YouTube video that most closely matches the key, tempo and style in which we plan to sing the songs. Most everyone - both parents and students have some kind of internet access. So we email and text the links to both the parents and the students. Some of our youngest carolers can't read all the big words yet, but they can pick up the correct pronounciation of the lyrics in the Youtube links! We try to make things easy and accessible so that no one is left at a disadvantage.
Every so often it is refreshing to hear a slight modification in the tempo or accent on some of the lyrics in the songs. At CCMT, we do mix things up a bit. We have girls and boys sing different verses of the songs or different lines of a verse or chorus for a touch of being different. Sometimes girls echo / repeat and other times, the boys do. Some things are done a capella and others are done with a piano or keyboard depending what is available to us where we are singing. We always carry our electrionic keyboard with us, but sometimes there is no ability to plug it in.
Here is where things get interesting! Not everyone has the same favorite Christmas hymn, song or carol, right? However, some do. At CCMT, we get everyone's favorite Christmas song at the first rehearsal and we ask them why that song is their favorite. We also ask if they want to take the lead or the solo on that song because of the rich personal meaning the song has had on their life. We also run into times when more than one person shares the same favorite song and we offer them duets or trios and the rest of the choir backs them up. There are still other times when we will rotate which person gets the entire solo depending on where we are singing. For instance, "Johnny gets to sing Silent Night at the nursing home, while Jenny gets to sing Silent Night at the Fire Station." We try to be fair and give everyone the same amount of stage time. This is why CCMT, requires that all carolers complete all the rehearsals and tour dates. If you are missing, this throws the group out of wack and that song may not get to be sung at all. So please, come on time and ready to go! The carolers bond quite nicely this way. So you see, there is something for everyone! What is your favorite Christmas hymn, song or carol?