Participants embrace German Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long

Saturday’s German Christmas caroling event brought in approximately 35 singers. The second round of German caroling will be Dec. 14 at the Walla Walla University’s Melvin K. West Fine Arts Center, room 208, 204 S. College Ave., College Place.

Saturday’s German Christmas caroling event brought in approximately 35 singers. The second round of German caroling will be Dec. 14 at the Walla Walla University’s Melvin K. West Fine Arts Center, room 208, 204 S. College Ave., College Place. Photo by Alfred Diaz.

Advertisement

COLLEGE PLACE — A Sabbath school tradition brought in a multicultural assembly of three-dozen people from as far away as Richland, who took part in the annual German Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long at Walla Walla University.

“We were just looking for something to do this weekend,” Richland resident Marcel Baer said. The German-born theoretical chemist who works at Pacific Northwest National added it had been years since he had heard his mother and grandmother sing carols in his native language.

“I think now I am missing them more,” he said.

For decades, the Seventh-day Adventist Church has sponsored German Sabbath school.

“It used to be once a week back in the ’60s, ’70s and ’80s. And then it disappeared. But that is how I learned my German,” Christmas carol pianist Don Schafer said.

Then in the late ’90s, German Sabbath school was brought back. Today it is held about once a month and draws a few participants, class leader and Walla Walla High School foreign language teacher Curt Schafer said.

Every December, however, the German Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long sees the classroom overfill with people like Rebecca Saitz, who aren’t necessarily Adventist but still have an interest in German Christmas carols.

“I kind of grew up in a house where Germans were not talked about much,” said Saitz, who is of Jewish descent. She is also Baer’s fiancée. “So this is a great thing to experience and embrace.”

Saturday’s German Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long also drew in German foreign exchange students from Walla Walla High School, local college students who are studying German and plenty of people who just wanted to brush up on their German by singing “Stille Nacht” or “Silent Night” in its original language.

“It is interesting how sometimes in a small town you can embrace world customs and events,” Saitz said.

The second German Christmas Carol Sing-A-Long will be Dec.14 at 10 a.m. at the Walla Walla University Melvin K. West Fine Arts Center, Room 208, 204 S. College Ave.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment

Click here to sign in
4 free views left!