Ariella's Vocal Notes- Blog

The Christmas Caroler...stop and listen.

By Ariella Vaccarino creator of Voice Lessons To Go


In this festive time of year, your ears may come across Dicken's Carolers in the mall, or at an event. They are usually strolling in quartets (soprano, alto, tenor, bass), wearing old fashioned garb. One usually has a pitch pipe and they take your holiday requests.

I sang as a Dicken's Caroler for many years through college and after. It was a great source of income for me as a singer, and an interesting seasonal job. When you see these singers, I just want to point a few things out about them so that you take a moment to realize how hard-working they really are.

Most often the singers are given a full book of Carols that they have to learn their own melody for and memorize. That is a lot of melody and lyric. The songs all have their own arrangements that make them unique from other caroler groups, so there is effort that goes into learning them. The singers get called days, if not hours before a gig to get dressed up and show up somewhere they have never been. The quartets change with most gigs, so the singers are learning each others names when they get there.

I can't tell you how many fancy private parties that I sang at in my early twenties. It was fun, but from a singers point of view a bit odd. You show up try and park (a nightmare some places), you don't know where to go, or wait, once you get there, and then you sing. Sometimes, you are background ambiance and people aren't listening. Other times you are the main event. The gracious ones invite you to eat and treat you like entertainment, others dismiss you after and see you as the hired help.

There are also many gigs that you spend strolling outdoor places and it can be cold!

Overall, I did find the gigs to be very fun. Every once in a while you would be working an important or celebrity event which was very exciting as a young singer.

Often these singers are pretty good. (They have to audition to get the job.)

So, stop and listen, make a request, and even tip them if you can. These are working singers bringing some holiday joy!

(a former Dickens Caroler)

Ariella Vaccarino

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