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FHN Students Participate in Local Singing Tradition

What started out as a group of middle schoolers back in 1972 singing in masses at the St. Charles Borromeo Catholic School has now grown into three different groups categorized by age: Just Kids, The Connection and The Patt Holt Singers.The Patt Holt Singers have developed into a group including 46 singers overall.

“I didn’t try to start this group,” Director and Founder Patt Holt said. ”I didn’t expect it to last.”

Holt was originally an English teacher at Borromeo with very little experience with music aside from playing piano from the age of two, yet she was chosen to take on the job of being the director for the eighth grade choir.

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When they began singing at church, crowds of people came just to see them sing. At the end of the year, the kids wanted to continue what they started.

“I told them they could come over, and we could have practices at my house,” Holt said. “I was surprised when 45 kids showed up in my living room.”

Now, 40 years into it, The Patt Holt Singers are known for their variety of shows, filled with singing and dancing. Their shows include a Disney show, a military show, a Christmas show and “The Beat Goes On”, with pop songs from the 50s to the 90s. They’ve performed in various places, from the White House to nursing homes.

“We do what the show demands, what people want,” Holt said. “The whole purpose of The Patt Holt singers is to make people happy.”

Audience members like to describe them as “a community based group that does holiday and seasonal shows for entertainment” or “a group with lots of good people who can sing and dance and harmonize.”

“They are awesome,” sophomore Andrew Leonard, who just recently saw his first show, said. “Their voices sound great together.”

Holt says the respect the group members have for each other helps put together a good show for the audience. They easily conn

ect with each other because they all have one thing in common.

“We all share the same love for music and performing,” sophomore Lauren Tenenbaum said. “I like that a bunch of really talented people can get along and come together.”

Tenenbaum plans to learn or “blossom” as a performer and get better with the group. She’s only been with the group for a couple months and she already loves it. She was encouraged to join by Jillian Strickland, who has been with them since about age 6.

“My parents met and got married through the group,” Strickland said. “My family has done it and it’s something I alway

s wanted to do when I was little.

” Strickland’s parents aren’t the only couple to get married in the group. They are one of 19 couples that can thank The Patt Holt Singers for their marriage. Even those who aren’t connected by marriage or blood still share a close bond.

“It’s a big family,” junior Kelsey McIlroy, who has been with the group for about 4 years, said. “We’re all just a bunch of goofballs.”

The Patt Holt Singers have worked hard around the Christmas season. For the month of December they had a total of 18 shows, including a performance at the Scott Air Force Base in Illinois.

This summer, they plan on plenty of shows at fairs and conventions. The Patt Holt Singers are also trying for their fifth show at the White House.

“This year’s getting booked up,” Holt said. “As long as we have people with good voices that can entertain and work well, we’ll still be around.”

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