JENKINS TOWNSHIP — “The first Noel, the angel did say, was to certain poor shepherd in fields as they lay …”
“… O come let us adore him, O come let us adore him …”
“Joy to the world, the Lord is come, let Earth receive her king …”
As about 20 fourth- and fifth-grade students from Wyoming Area Catholic School sang carols in the dining hall at Wesley Village’s Partridge-Tippet facility, elderly residents smiled and sang along.
Even when the young vocalists fell silent while their classmates offered instrumental solos, sharp-eared listeners could hear the residents still softly singing along with the piano or violin, from “Silent night, holy night, all is calm, all is bright …” to“Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, had a very shiny nose …”
The old familiar songs were, it turned out, just too hard to resist.
“Oh, I love them,” resident Gloria Pupa said, wiping away tears as she thought of the songs. “They bring back memories of days of yore.”
“It’s so good to see these little children,” said resident Jack Jopling, who used to live in Lehman Township.
“It’s good for them to do this and good for us to hear it,” said resident Theresa Alexander, who formerly lived in Pittston.
“The children are just adorable,” said Rose Seroka, a new resident of Wesley Village who approached the youngsters before the concert and asked if they liked school.
“No-o-o-o-o,” several of them said, shaking their heads.
Noting she used to teach at Kistler Elementary School in Wilkes-Barre, Seroka said she had been prepared for that answer.
“They never like school,” she said.
But several children said they really enjoyed entertaining the Wesley Village residents.
“I like how the elderly came and listened to us,” said Kendall Morris, 11.
“It was just nice to see their happy faces,” said Lily Kasa, 10.
“Hey, I was going to say that,” Brooke Kroptavich, 11, protested to Lily. Then, thinking of another response to a reporter’s question, Brook added, “I liked when they were singing along.”
The school has been sending young singers to Wesley Village for years, said fifth-grade teacher Josie Toomey, who accompanied the group along with fourth-grade teacher James Renfer and music teacher Jackson Fiore.
“This is part of our community outreach,” Toomey said. “We have a retreat beforehand and talk about the idea of being good and kind to others.”
Residents said they appreciated the music, and the hand-made cards the children distributed.
“Oh, my God, it was wonderful,” Pupa said.
Reach Mary Therese Biebel at 570-991-6109 or on Twitter @BiebelMT