A Heartland Tradition

A Heartland Tradition
By:  Holly Brantley

Cape Girardeau, MO -- I bet you know a Christmas Carol or two, but did you know caroing is one of the oldest Christmas Traditions?

Year after year families, churches, and school children get together and celebrate with Christmas Carols.

Heartland choir directors say it's that connection that keeps caroling alive.

Matt Kiesling’s music class at Alma Scharder inCape Girardeau can’t get enough of “Holly Jolly Christmas”. Chances are you know all the words to this upbeat Christmas Carol too.

Kiesling says songs trigger memories of the magic of the season. "It's Because of the whole child aspect of the holiday season," said Kiesling. "When children hear the songs they get excited about Christmas coming and Santa Claus and all that good stuff."

The songs are more than just words. As the children lean lyrics, they are learning history.

They get excited knowing it's not just notes but a background to the song,” said Kiesling. “We talk about the composer, give them tid bits about a person's life and make the composer more than just a poster.”

Kiesling says the songs never go out of style.

"It's the only real season of the year where you can pull out old songs and they're still modern and in style."

Art DeWeese directs this Paducah Tilgman all boys choir, "Prime Rib".

His groups is always in high demand.

"We stay very, very busy all year but especially at Christmas," DeWeese said.  "It's not unusual to be singing twice on Saturday and through the week. They always get a warm reception. If they are performing for a group of young ladies its different than an older group. There's a lot of squealing and clapping, which they enjoy very much."