Lake Highlands Advocate
December 1994

SPREADING JOY THROUGH MUSIC
By Becky Bull

When Tuzy Fenton and Laurie McNair carol during the holidays, they mean business, literally.

The two neighborhood residents work for The Living Christmas Card, a professional caroling company. The business rents out a cappella quartets that sing Christmas carols while dressed in 19th century-style costumes.

"This is the fourth year I've done it, and I'm not tired of it," Fenton says.

"I enjoy making music. The voices are beautiful."

"To me, Christmas is about singing because there's so much beautiful music," says Craig Marshall, director of the eight-year-old business.

"Our motto is: We spread the joy of Christmas through music."

Marshall started the business with one quartet. About four years ago, he expanded his ranks of singers to meet demand. Now, he has 32 area singers and franchises in Houston and Detroit.

The singers rehearse on their own and have to learn 64 Christmas carols, including "Joy to the World", "White Christmas" and a doo-wop version of "Jingle Bells."

"The costumes look great, and the way the group sounds - - we have a unique sound," Marshall says. "It's more of a smooth blend. They blend so well, it sounds like one homogenous sound."

McNair says the carols are a nice switch from her usual singing style, which is rock-n-roll."It's like old-fashioned Christmas caroling," McNair says.

Fenton, who sings part-time, will do four performances a week during the holidays, each lasting one to four hours.

"They do this because they're good at it, and they enjoy it," Marshall says. "It's something you can go out and do and feel total gratification. Everyone enjoys it."