Christmas tour share favorite tunes

To add to the holiday cheer of the Russellville Indian Singers Christmas tour, members Kimberly Willis, Whitney Vanwechel, Robert Geffman and Devin Koestner wore plush elf hats as they sang well-known Christmas favorites Tuesday, Dec. 10. Democrat photo/Michelle Brooks

To add to the holiday cheer of the Russellville Indian Singers Christmas tour, members Kimberly Willis, Whitney Vanwechel, Robert Geffman and Devin Koestner wore plush elf hats as they sang well-known Christmas favorites Tuesday, Dec. 10. Democrat photo/Michelle Brooks Photo by Michelle Brooks.

— By MICHELLE BROOKS

Democrat staff

RUSSELLVILLE — The Russellville Indian Singers shared their 16 voices with businesses in their own town and children in Jefferson City.

For the fourth year, the group has toured its community with Christmas carols.

Their first stop Dec. 10 was the Special Learning Center, where about 45 students and nearly 20 adults swayed, clapped and sang-along.

"Santa Claus is Coming to Town," "Jingle Bells," and the closer "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" were the biggest hits.

Some of the choir members wore plush, red elf hats for fun.

"We thought the little kids would like it," said Kimberly Willis.

For Whitney Vanwechel, the stop was more than sharing Christmas cheer through song. A former student and volunteer at the center, many teachers and students greeted her enthusiastically.

"It's fun to come back," Vanwechel said.

The Russellville Indian Singers were the only carolers on the calendar to come to the school this season, said Program Director Amy Edwards.

"What a treat; we don't have to go anywhere," she said.

The toddlers and preschoolers at the center will likewise visit other community sites to sing their own versions of favorite holiday tunes.

"Anytime you can see a child with a disability, it heightens awareness," Edwards said.

Several of the Russellville singers, including Vanwechel, also volunteer at the center. Edwards said any chance the center has to let the community meet their students is a chance to invite new volunteers.

Following the Special Learning Center, the Russellville Indian Singers visited Jefferson City Day Care and a few Russellville businesses.

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