US students operate Dial-A-Carol service

Students at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in the United States are operating a Dial-A-Carol service for the holidays. The annual service, being held for its 55th year, operates for 24 hours a day for one week, where you call and student volunteers will sing a carol of your choice.

They have been featured every year for the past few years by Scott Mills on his Radio 1 programme, including an airing Monday of Baby It’s Cold Outside and Little Donkey, requested by Chris Stark.

Reneeta Mack, a second year media and cinema student, is one of the volunteers fielding calls. A first year volunteer, Mack said she never had the opportunity to sing Christmas carols back home, and so when the director of the campus living hall told her about it, she got on board instantly.

“We come when we can and grab a phone,” Mack said in a telephone interview.

The call volume was record breaking. Mack said they expected 7,000 calls. They’ve had 9,000 calls, from all 50 states, the UK, Canada, and other countries.



Mack says social media has played a large role in its international following, especially Facebook, where most users see them appear in their news feed through advertising. They’ve also had calls from stations including Radio 1.

“Social media has had a huge positive impact,” Mack said.

The service operates through early 17 December, GMT. To have a carol sung to you, ring 001 217 332 1882, and enjoy.