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Part of my growing up years, which began in the fifth grade, was spent in Chicago on the south side in a section of the city called Hyde Park. It had and still has a wonderful diversified population. I was so fortunate to have experienced that diversity growing up.

My home sat within walking distance of the Museum of Science and Industry. The University of Chicago was in the opposite direction and the Hyde Park Methodist Church was close to where I lived, all within walking distance. My friends were children of professors, artists, waitresses and shop owners. Rich and poor, we attended our friends' bar mitzvahs, and rather than wait outside for our catholic friends while they attended high holidays services, we just joined in. We all interacted together.

The church I belonged to had a good size children’s choir and I sang in that choir until I began high school when I was accepted in the adult choir. It was a milestone for me. I have many memories of the Hyde Park Methodist Church. One very special memory was our annual program at the Rockefeller Chapel.

Every Thanksgiving our children’s choir, along with other choirs in Hyde Park, Kenwood and Woodlawn neighborhoods, would meet at Rockefeller Chapel and join together to sing and celebrate Thanksgiving.

Rockefeller Chapel was built in 1928 and sits at the center of the University of Chicago. It resembles a medieval cathedral. As a child I was awe-struck by its size and beauty. I can only imagine this season of Christmas with the chapel’s fifty foot Christmas tree.

Christmas is the season of beautiful music. Music speaks to everyone no matter the age. So turn up the volume on your radio and sing along. It will help you enjoy this Christmas season…Betty

Remember the reason for the season.

Betty pictured front lower right

Betty pictured front lower right corner.

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