Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN
December 20, 2011
Christmas sing-a-along a last-minute success
Robert Cox Jr.
Greensburg Daily News
Greensburg — Mainstreet Greensburg executive director Bryan Robbins started thinking about Christmas early this year.
In September, he approached North Decatur High School (NDHS) choir director Dan Borns about helping him organize and host a Christmas caroling event at the courthouse in 2011.
According to Borns, he very much liked the idea.
"But it was September," Borns said, "early in the football season; Christmas seems like a long way off that time of year."
Just after Thanksgiving, Robbins approached Borns again.
"I wanted to make caroling part of our annual Downtown Holiday Walk," Robbins said.
The annual Holiday Walk went off without a hitch Dec. 2, but Borns had a scheduling conflict and couldn't do it.
"That was the night of our big Christmas dinner at NDHS," Borns said.
Time was growing short by then, but Robbins didn't give up. A couple weeks of scheduling conflicts, accompanied by a furious facebook, email and flyer campaign, followed.
"The newspaper did a wonderful article for us, too," Robbins said. "They really helped bring this together. The radio station gave us some good exposure, too."
On Saturday night, the outdoor Christmas sing-a-long event finally came together on the courthouse lawn.
Around forty carolers, bundled in scarves and gloves, in toboggans and thick winter coats, braved frigid mid-December weather to belt out a chilly rendition of the "Hallelujah Chorus."
LED lighting glowed throughout the group, lighting the singers' lyric sheets, as Borns passionately directed.
"We chose ÔHallelujah Chorus'," Borns said afterward, "because it's in the public domain."
The improvised choir practiced only once Ð a one-hour session at First Presbyterian Church Thursday night.
Despite the last-minute, improvised nature of the event and the cold weather, turnout was brisk.
David J. Fry, CTP, director of community relations at Decatur County Memorial Hospital, attended and congratulated Borns and the choir afterward.
"You guys did a great job," he told them, smiling warmly. "Especially for such short notice."
"We hope this leads to a community Christmas choir," Robbins said. "We'd like to hold it as a yearly event, in conjunction with our holiday walk. We hope to attract more singers, too."
As director of Mainstreet, Robbins said he wants to make sure people keep downtown in mind as a good venue for holiday events.
He joyfully thanked Borns for his participation.
"We couldn't have done it without you, Dan," he said and added: "I wouldn't want to do it without you. See you next year."
Borns smiled, obviously pleased with both the turnout and with his choir's performance "Merry Christmas, Bryan."