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Posted on Thu, Dec 10, 2009 : 9:57 a.m.

A2SO's Sing Along with Santa goes global Saturday

By Frances Kai-Hwa Wang

Figuring that Santa must get tired of only milk and cookies during the American leg of his annual journey, our family always leaves Santa mango mochi, sometimes a few potstickers, too. Last year, then 4-year-old Little Brother wanted to leave chocolate chip cookies, too, “like everyone else” because he was worried that Santa might not know what mochi was. So I told him to ask Santa directly.

At the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s annual Sing Along with Santa, Santa not only knew what mochi was, he told Little Brother that he loves mochi! They had a great conversation comparing all their favorite kinds: kinako, strawberry, an.

Since Santa travels around the world on Christmas Eve, delivering toys to all good boys and girls, it follows that he speaks all the languages and is well-versed in all the cultures of the world. Of course Santa can speak Indonesian, how could he not? Of course he knows the intricacies of Cambodian dance and the story of the Ramayana. He’s Santa!

And he sings, too.

Last year, the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra’s annual Sing Along with Santa featured Chinese erhu virtuoso Xiao Dong Wei and the University of Michigan Indonesian angklung ensemble. Sing-along-with-Santa goes global again this year, including Puerto Rican Christmas music with Reynaldo and Alicia Reyes, pianist Lori Zupan, and Fritz Kaenzig on tuba. The event is beautiful, welcoming, educational, well designed, and there are cookies, too.

From the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra:

Sing Along with Santa begins at 4 pm on Saturday, December 12th at Bethlehem United Church of Christ in downtown Ann Arbor (423 S. 4th Avenue). Admission to the performance is only $6 for children and $15 for adults. Family tickets are available for $35 for up to six family members. Preferred seating patron tickets are also available for $50. Names of patron ticket buyers appear in the Sing Along programs. Tickets are available by calling 734/994-4801, visiting the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra office at 220 E Huron, Suite 470, M-F 9 am to 5 pm, online at, or by e-mail at, and if not sold out, at Bethlehem UCC starting at 3 pm on the day of the concert. More here.

Frances Kai-Hwa Wang is a second-generation Chinese American from California who now divides her time between Ann Arbor and the Big Island of Hawaii. She is editor of Asian American Village, lead multicultural contributor for, and a contributor for New America Media's Ethnoblog. She is a popular speaker on Asian Pacific American and multicultural issues. Check out her website at, her blog at, and she can be reached at