You Call. They Sing. ‘Dial-A-Carol’ is the New Tradition You Need This Holiday Season.

By Christina Lorey
November 9, 2022

Buddy said it best: “The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.

Students at the University of Illinois are taking that to heart for the 62nd holiday season in a row. The school’s Dial-A-Carol tradition returns December 9th!

Last years team at Dial A Carol HQ inside Snyder Hall


Every year, student volunteers dedicate some of their finals week study time to sing holiday songs to anyone who calls, anywhere in the world. For one week only, you can call 217-332-1882 and request any holiday song. You’ll then be treated to a live performance from real life human people (aka student carolers) who will do their best to sing their hearts out.

The carolers map where their calls come from Last year it only took 17 hours to reach all 50 states


Yes! Champaign isn’t as hoppin’ as Madison, especially this time of year. Take it from your editor who went there;) She recommends testing your carolers by throwing an obscure holiday song their way– maybe Dominic The Donkey or Kelly Clarkson’s latest tune, Christmas Isn’t Canceled (Just You)?!

Students also receive calls from halfway around the world Literally


The hotline is open 24/7 from 12:01 a.m. on Friday, December 9th through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, December 15th. The students have multiple phone lines, but be patient if you’re briefly put on hold. They’ll do their best to keep wait times short and spirits jolly!


In the name of Christmas cheer, of course! And because this is Generation Z, the student carolers try to go viral on TikTok, too. If you have a great experience, pass this story along to a friend or co-worker who should try it!

Follow their Facebook page for a glimpse behind the scenes.


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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