DeKALB – Thomas Sims is proud to help host a holiday tradition in DeKalb.
“I think we have been doing the Holiday Sing ever since the Gurler House Association was created,” said Sims, the president of the association. The association was created about the same time the George H. Gurler House in DeKalb was added to the Register of Historic Places in 1979.
The Gurler House, which was one of the first frame houses in DeKalb County, serves as a community center for small groups, and the Holiday Sing is one of two annual events open to the public. The other is the Folk Music Fest on the lawn in June.
“It’s one of the ways we like to show off the Gurler House and give back to the community,” Sims said.
The Holiday Sing normally includes a live music performance, a story, caroling, and snacks. This year’s story was Christopher Morley’s modern fable “The Tree that Didn’t Get Trimmed,” read by Gurler House caretaker Beth Wolden.
“I just thought it was a good holiday story,” Wolden said. “Things don’t always go the way you want them to, but they work out in the end.”
Violin music was performed by Suzuki strings students from Northern Illinois University’s Community School of the Arts. Sims said he tries to schedule the prestigious group whenever their schedule permits.
Suzuki strings member Reilly Farrell, 9, of DeKalb, has been playing the violin since he was 5, but he started playing the piano even earlier.
“I started playing the piano when I was 2,” he said.