Lehigh Valley students go viral on TikTok with Straight No Chaser’s ‘12 Days of Christmas’ – lehighvalleylive.com

The Crescendudes from Nazareth Area High School have gone viral on TikTok with their cover of "12 Days of Christmas."Courtesy photo | For lehighvalleylive.com
A Lehigh Valley student singing group is getting a Christmas to remember as millions of people all over the world watch their holiday concert from their small Pennsylvania town.
More than 3 million people on TikTok have heard Nazareth Area High School’s The Crescendudes perform Straight No Chaser’s viral song “12 Days of Christmas.”
Posted on Dec. 14 at @nazcrescendudes, The Crescendudes TikTok video as of Friday morning had more than 3.4 million views and 712,700 likes.
The version starts off with the classic “On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me,” but morphs into a holiday carol melody that ranges from “Deck the Halls” to “The Dreidel Song,” with a little piece of Toto’s “Africa” mixed in.
Sixteen-year-old Dean Tarriff, a junior, is head Dude and posted the video. The group includes Nazareth seniors Jacob Kremer, 17 and Sean Strauss, 17; juniors Jason Cozza, 16, Aaron D Louw, 16, Kilian Robinson, 16, and Corbin Foraker, 15; and sophomore Damon Dellanno, 15.
Tarriff had a personal TikTok account and created The Crescendudes TikTok, where he previously posted a few videos. After the concert on Dec. 14, Tarriff posted video that night when he went to bed.
As he slept, the video started spreading online and, when Tarriff woke up the next morning, “I picked up my phone and it was blowing up with notifications.”
“It feels incredible. We could have never imagined that this could happen,” he said. They’ve seen other high school performances go viral, mainly from bigger cities and towns in places like California or New York, “but it’s cool to be able to do it from a small town.”
The group is astonished with their success so far, and the possibility it could grow even more leading up to Christmas Day blows their minds.
Kelly Rocchi, the high school’s choral director, said the student group has been around for about 10 years, and they perform throughout the school year.
When the boys came to her in October with the idea to cover Straight No Chaser’s song, she was admittedly dubious.
“I said, ‘You’re never going to pull that off,’ because it’s such a hard song,” Rocchi recounted.
There’s no instruments with acappella singing, and Straight No Chaser’s song has battling parts that overlap, plus the lyrics are sung to the beats of other holiday songs. The part to Toto’s “Africa” — “I bless the rains down in Africa” becomes “Five golden rings”– was especially challenging, and they needed three rehearsals just for that section.
The young men said the doubt motivated them and they vowed to show Rocchi they could do it.
“They have obviously proved me wrong,” she said.
Lehighvalleylive.com spoke to Rocchi and some Crescendudes on Thursday, after they just got back from one of their last Christmas gigs.
Strauss is a bass 2, what he calls “the lowest of the low” in terms of voice range, and said the songs are familiar but the arrangement is anything but.
“It’s always just trying to figure out where everybody else is — in the song, everybody is all over the place, you have to know which exact spot you’re at, because if you fall behind, other people fall behind and the song falls apart,” he said.
The success is all the more satisfying since the pandemic initially halted the normal high school experience. This is Kremer and Strauss’ last year as seniors, and Rocchi said this has allowed them to salvage it.
“These are my COVID kids and they haven’t been with me since they were freshman,” she said. “The fact that they’ve been able to rise above all the hurdles and embrace the first normal year in a long time is very exciting.”
They’re taking the popularity in stride. After a commenter joked they should add the JG Wentworth, “Call 877-CASH-NOW” jingle to the performance, they added a new video with a hilarious-in-its earnestness rendition of the popular jingle.
Our rendition of 12 Days of Christmas by Straight No Chaser! #music #acapella #straightnochaser #tenors #basses #singing #sing #band #singersoftiktok #highschool #choir @Straight No Chaser
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Sarah Cassi may be reached at scassi@lehighvalleylive.com.
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