FLINT — The countdown is underway for one of the Flint area’s longest running holiday traditions — the 75th anniversary of the Citizens Bank Holiday Sing.
The Citizens Bank Holiday Sing will take place from 8:15-9 a.m. on Monday, Dec. 24 in the lobby of the Citizens Bank building at 328 South Saginaw St. in downtown Flint
This year, Alex Dutton, a pianist from the Flint School of Performing Arts joins the Citizens Bank Mixed Chorus as Citizens Bank employees and Flint-area residents gather to sing holiday songs. Santa Claus will stop by to visit with children and their families as well.
To celebrate the 75th anniversary, former choir members who participated in previous Citizens Bank Holiday Sings were invited back to join the Citizens Bank Mixed Chorus in a special performance.
For those who can not attend the event in person, Citizens Bank has once again teamed up with WFNT-AM 1470 to broadcast the event live.
The holiday sing evolved from an idea presented in 1937 by Leo Kangas, a cashier at Citizens Bank, for the “Christmastime Community Sing.” J.E. Burroughs, bank president at the time, agreed it was a good idea and thus began the Annual Holiday Sing tradition at Citizens Bank.
Initially, the Holiday Sing was led by a duet consisting of two female staff members of the bank. The duet expanded to a trio in 1946. The “Girls” Glee Club was formed in 1950 and was a forerunner to the presentday choir. In 1954, men were added to the group, and it became the Citizens Bank Mixed Chorus. This also was the first year in which the Holiday Sing was broadcast on radio.
Today, the Holiday Sing features staff members with instrumental accompaniment. The choir continues to delight audiences and spread the joy of the season with holiday songs. The festivities continue as a favorite holiday event among the community, staff members and friends. — G.G.