VoX (Voices of XMas) began in the early 1990s, when a local group of church choristers decided they'd like to bring really good Christmas music to shut-ins. Members have come and gone, but this is still the heart of the VoX mission. We perform free at local nursing homes and at reduced rates for non-profits who can't afford to pay, as well as at an annual lineup of paying engagements at places like the University Club and private parties. Trinity Rep's opening night performance of "A Christmas Carol" is also VoX's traditional season opener, putting both crowd and group in the proper holiday mood.
VoX mixes traditional favorites such as "Deck the Halls" and "Joy to the World" with modern carols like "Let it Snow" and "White Christmas", plus our own arrangements of songs like "Jingle Bells", "Winter Wonderland" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer". Dressed in our Victorian-inspired finery, VoX is both a musical and visual treat for the season. Members truly enjoy this special time, and have been known to break into song in restaurants, just for fun!
When the season is over, we love getting together to give away the proceeds — music and the arts are important to us, but we also give back to the community in general. In recent years we have donated to: Amos House, New Urban Arts, Habitat for Humanity, Summerbridge RI for Community and Justice, Sojourner House, RI Community Food Bank, CityArts, Crossroads, New Hope, American Red Cross, Partners in Health–Haiti, and Community MusicWorks.VoX itself is a RI non-profit.
When you book us for a party or make a donation, you get much more than music — you join us in aiding these non-profits!
*Xmas” is an old-fashioned shorthand for “Christmas”, using the Greek symbol Chi, or “X”. “X” was used by early Christians as a secret symbol meaning “Christ.” We like it because it makes our acronym = VoX, which in Latin means “voice.”
Special Words of Thanks
At the heart of every VoX performance is Dave Moss, our director. He leads us with unfailing grace, calm, and goodwill. Thank you Dave — you bring out the best in us.
When Dave's not there we are often conducted by Peter Thornton, but usually you'll see, and hear, him giving his witty and sometimes educational patter between songs. He's always on the lookout for seasonal material, so what you heard last year may not be what he's got this year!
VoX singers tend to be multi-talented folk. A handful have lent these talents to making special arrangements of carols we know and love (a process we call "VoXifying"). Our current arranger-in-residence is Mark Rabuck, whose jazzy "Winter Wonderland" is a favorite of ours. Member Rob Brewster created our new arrange-ment of "Feliz Navidad"; arrangers from earlier years include Marilyn Edwards, Marilyn Levine and Kevin Pariseau. Their songs remain part of the VoX repertoire, and we are the richer for it.
Our wonderful website was generously created by Elizabeth DiPalma, talented designer and loyal VoX soprano singer for many years. We strive to live up to the beautiful online presence that she has bequeathed us.
Finally, a tip of the VoX top hat to Barbara Thornton. What would we do without her? She organizes our schedule, makes sure we show up when and where we're supposed to, and generally keeps us on our toes, doing our best. We thank you with all our hearts.
© 2014 Huang-an Chen
© 2014 Kris Craig for the Providence Journal