The Indy Christmas Caroling Big Band Puts a Spirited Spin on a Time-Honored Tradition

Writer / Renee Larr
Photography Provided

Providing joy to others by Christmas caroling is a pillar of the holiday season. In 2009, accomplished musician Dan Nix thought itThe Indy Christmas Caroling Big Band would be a fun twist on a time-honored tradition to have a saxophone quarter travel around the Fishers area performing classic Christmas carols on Christmas Eve. Nix says the first year was such a huge hit that the group knew they had to continue each year.

“We performed as a saxophone quartet for the next few years,” Nix says. “Then we had a friend who was a drummer who wanted to join, so we became a saxophone quartet plus a drummer in the back of a truck bed. It got to the point where I wanted to expand it to something that had never been done before. I want this to be a complete 20-person jazz band.”

The Indy Christmas Caroling Big BandTen years ago the group of merry revelers officially became the Indy Christmas Caroling Big Band (ICCBB). They would all file into unsuspecting homeowners’ kitchens or living rooms and perform. Eventually Nix and his friends wanted to find someone who had experienced a rough year and was in desperate need of merriment and holiday cheer, rather than just area residents.

The ICCBB is now a 75-person, two-band production with no plans of slowing down. Nix says he dreams of a day when the ICCBB is a five-band group traveling around Indianapolis, providing yearly holiday memories.

“Now we rent a bus to take us to three or four different homes,” Nix says. “Then we all jump back on the bus and head to a random but predetermined local public place like IKEA to perform. I’m fortunate so many people want to join me on Christmas morning, and take time away from their own families to provide a little joy for others experiencing a tough time.”

Nix began self-funding the ICCBB each year, but as the group has grown, the nonprofit has continued to rely on the community’s help through donations. Nix says he likes to provide the group with breakfast and apparel since they’re donating their time.

“Some of these performers are driving more than three hours to get here, so I like to pay for their gas,” Nix says. “We have to pay licensing fees for the music, so the bills do add up. We all love doing it and want ICCBB to continue and grow.”

For more information or to donate, visit Indy Christmas Caroling Big Band

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