By Nancy Covert
There was much jingling of bells and tootling of kazoos at Steilacoom’s Town Hall on Dec. 15 at the fifth annual . There also were a few ukuleles and tambourines, as well as flutes, trumpets, cellos, violins, guitars: even two Euphoniums.
“Thank you Becky Morris, Lead Elf, for emceeing the event, for involving the children musically, and for all the countless things you did in the background ,” said Nancy Henderson, Euphonium player and event coordinator.
”Her husband Gary set up the sound system, which was an immense help. Thanks also to Steve Stovall, the Kazoo Elf, for supplying (and sanitizing) all the kazoos, and Elf Pam Medina for her musical arrangements “The Town Administration and Mayor Ron Lucas have been solid supporters of this event–very appreciated.” Henderson added that she “looks forward to next year’s 6th annual event, from 6-8 p.m. on Dec. 14 at Town Hall.”
Kids and adults taking part in the Community’s traditional Sunday in December All-Comers Sing-Along manipulated the assortment of instruments. The event began in 2009 as another way to celebrate the Yule-tide Season in Washington’s First, and oldest, City (1854).
While Steilacoom’s towering Christmas tree twinkled with multi-colored lights outside Town Hall, moms, dads and kids packed the chairs inside and enthusiastically sang along with the volunteer orchestra.
The orchestra, comprised of 35 community musicians, have made the mid-December event a part of their holiday season tradition to join in. Participants’ ages ranged from 12 years to older than 75.
“Thanks to the 9-10 high school students who came to join us. It was especially fun to have two young trombonists playing alongside. Our young people are the future of this event,” Henderson continued.
“Jo Ann Miller, in her debut as the conductor, not only kept us all together in a manner very easy to follow, but also kept us right on schedule. Jan Lucas on the piano helped tremendously with piano introductions which cued everyone as to timing and when to begin. We’ll do that next year too,” she added.
Several musicians wearing red hats—one hat even had Spock-like ears attached—added to the festive atmosphere. Green wreaths were hung around the hall, above the historic photos. A long table, filled with heaping plates of cookies and candy, along with a pair of punch bowls, was the main attraction during Intermission.
Then Santa showed up, “ho-ho-ho-ing” around the room and distributing candy canes to wide-eyed little and big kids, while the audience serenaded him with tunes such as “Santa Claus is coming to town” and “Up on the Housetop.”
For two hours that evening, the sounds of traditional and contemporary holiday tunes echoed through the hall. According to an unofficial poll of participants as they headed for their homes, “a good time was had by all.