Third Street Music School Settlement carols its way through the Lower East Side

Caroling in the firehouse. (Photos by Tequila Minsky)

BY TEQUILA MINSKY | All were bundled many layers thick, against a frigid Thursday evening. “Sing for the Season” with Third Street Music School Settlement brought out dozens of children and parents and adults — students at the school to celebrate the time of year.

Holding their 22-page caroling booklet in mittened hands, the seven destination stops were mapped on its cover. And many of the songsters, in their other hand, held jingle bells to keep the rhythm of the songs.

Singers circled Union Square caroling at Con-Ed headquarters, Barnes & Noble, and the west side of Union Square Park. They even picked up a few singers along the way.  Matthew Stewart, the school’s assistant director of production, kept the melodic party moving along, leading the pack with jingle bells in hand.

Stop number four along the caroling way was at Hook & Ladder 13 firehouse on E. 13th St.

FDNY fireman from Hook & Ladder 13 on E. 13th sings along with the carolers.

At the next stop, firemen of Hook & Ladder 13 on E. 13th delighted, and even joined in the Christmas renditions, until a fire call interrupted the mini-concert and propelled the firemen into action. (Turned out, they barely made it out of the firehouse and stopped; it was a false alarm!)

All of a sudden there was a call, and firemen moved into action.

The roving Christmas minstrels entered TD Bank on 3rd Avenue for a longer stint of songs, rewarded by green-striped candy canes and elfin hats. Then, stopping at Veselka’s, singers were rewarded with hot chocolate. Dinosaur Hill, the toy store next door, was the last stop before heading back to the music school on E. 11th Street for cookies.

Stop number 5 on the caroling neighborhood walkabout was inside TD Bank at E. 10 St. where they gave out candy canes and elf hats.

Stop number 5 inside TD Bank.

Third Street Music School Settlement has been at its present location for 40 years as part of its 124-year history. Originally founded as a settlement house in Mariner’s Temple on the Lower East Side, the school moved to 3rd Street in 1903, giving it the name.

Carolers at Veselka’s.

Elf-hatted carolers enjoy their songs outside of Veselka’s.

After a cold night of caroling on the streets of the Lower East Side, Veselka’s hot chocolate really hit the spot.

The last move in 1974 brought the school to 11th Street. Annually, the school serves 5,000 students through its personal and group lessons in music and dance, and its school partnership program.

The Dreidel Song was the only Chanukah song in the booklet’s collection.

The caroling repertoire included: The Christmas Song, Deck the Halls, Do you Hear What I Hear? Frosty the Snowman, Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas, Holly Jolly Christmas, Jingle Bells, Jolly Old St. Nicholas, Joy to the World, Let it Snow, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Silent Night, Twelve Days of Christmas, Up on a House Top, Silver Bells, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, Winter Wonderland,  and Feliz Navidad.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *