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Here's when you can see carolers on the streetcar

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Posted at 9:00 AM, Dec 13, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-13 09:49:14-05

A Saturday afternoon ride on the Cincinnati Bell Connector could be your ticket to a free holiday concert from the caroling teams of the Young Professionals' Chorale Collective of Cincinnati.

YPCC carolers will fill a Cincinnati Bell Connector with the sounds of the season from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday after caroling this past Saturday. The carolers are accompanied by “elves” from Downtown Cincinnati Inc., which coordinates the Macy's Downtown Dazzle, a variety of holiday activities on Fountain Square.

“It just puts everyone in that holiday, festive mood,” said Tricia Suit, Downtown Cincinnati marketing director. “As people are going to events and using the Connector, the carolers make that special, too.”

Caroling has been a part of YPCC since its start in 2011. The nonprofit was born out of the World Choir Games, when people wanted a way to get young professionals more involved.

KellyAnn Nelson, now YPCC artistic director, gathered about 40 people at Below Zero Lounge to socialize and sing – and because it was late November, carols were in the song list. The group's first performance was caroling at Mr. Pitiful's.

Every year, YPCC creates a caroling choir – “It's the only part of YPCC that we audition for,” Nelson said – and the members spread holiday cheer at a variety of parties and events around the region. This year, 70 YPCC carolers will perform at about 40 gigs, including the streetcar performances, in groups of four to 12 singers.

“We're used to singing in strange locations,” Nelson said. “It makes us highly portable.”

The performances help YPCC cover its annual $80,000 budget, Nelson said. ArtsWave covered the costs for the streetcar caroling performances.

Caroling also builds awareness of YPCC, which has two part-time staff members, about 900 members and plans to launch its first strategic plan next year.

Because YPCC brings young professionals – up to age 45 – together in six-week concert cycle commitments, it always is attracting new members. But Nelson said she sees spikes in enrollment during caroling season.

YPCC's carolers sing together en masse only once during the holiday season, at the annual Fas & Las concert. The free event is 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Below Zero Lounge. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., and guests are encouraged to sing along to their favorite holiday melodies.