The more than 50 carolers who ventured out to Tinkamtown Chapel on Saturday, December 17 enjoyed the chance to sing their favorite Christmas songs and also joined the generations of singers before them in a tradition that dates back over 100 years.
That evening the pews were nearly filled as carolers sang some of the more traditional holiday tunes – including “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing”, “O Come, All Ye Faithful”, “”The First Noel” and “Silent Night” – by the light of about a half dozen kerosene lamps. Gail Roberts played the accompanying music on a 160-year old pump organ, which music leader Kate Webb said is one the oldest functioning in the state. Ms. Webb herself has participated in the event since her children were involved in the choir 28 years ago.
Another local with deep ties to the event, Crystal Randall Medeiros, remembers caroling at Tinkamtown Chapel every year as a child.
“It is the same as I remember it. It really gets us into the spirit,” she said. “People don’t realize that so many people donate time for it to happen.”
Jocelyn White and Maggie Moniz also have been coming for years, and recalled singing a cappella years ago in an act special to the event. Ms. White said the best way to describe the event is “nostalgic.”
The Tinkhamtown Chapel itself is a historic landmark, which although no longer has a minister, occasionally hosts weddings and other events. The chapel lacks electricity, thus holiday carolers who stepped in the building that night also may have felt they stepped back in time. The chapel was nice and toasty thanks to a potbelly stove.
A highlight of the event was a solo violin performance of “O Come, Emmanuel” by Megan Berard and children of all ages leading “The Twelve Days of Christmas” – with each holding a sign to keep everyone on cue. Of course, several times the days got mixed during the refrain, but all in good fun.
Of the whole event, Ms. Webb simply said, “It was perfect.”
By Laura Fedak Pedulli