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Caroling Counselors suit season

Instead of legal briefs and closing arguments, a group of local lawyers delivered the sounds of the season to delighted shoppers Sunday at the Broadway Market.

The Caroling Counselors, as they call themselves, performed several Christmas classics for shoppers at the East Side market. Although crowds were light, one attorney who participated in the a capella caroling said the concert was well-received.

"There were people browsing and shopping," said William Schoellkopf. "It was a nice holiday atmosphere. We sang inside the Broadway Market, then went over to the cafeteria area and did a performance there. People stopped and listened and applauded. It was nice."

The is the fourth season for the group, which performs about eight or nine concerts a year.

The group came together when one of its members, Annie Deck-Miller, discovered that there were a healthy number of lawyers in the area who could sing, Schoellkopf said.

"She thought it could be a good idea to get a few lawyers together to spread a little downtown Buffalo cheer, if lawyers can spread cheer," he said.

While the group is not associated with any particular organization, it has raised donations for the Erie County Bar Foundation.

"We mostly do it just for the enjoyment of the listeners," Schoellkopf said.

The group's members include Kelly Omel, an Erie County assistant district attorney; Ginger Schroder, of Schroder Joseph and Associates; Deck-Miller, an attorney for Roswell Park Cancer Institute; Jeffrey Santoro, an attorney in private practice; Cynthia Thompson, of Phillips Lytle; Theresa Quinn and Cheryl Fisher, both of Magavern Magavern Grimm; and Schoellkopf.

Schoellkopf said other carolers join the group from time to time, including Stephanie Bax, who participated in Sunday's performance.

The Caroling Counselors are scheduled to perform twice more this week. The events will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday for a wine-tasting at the City Wine Merchant on Main Street in Buffalo and at noon Wednesday at M&T Plaza on Main Street.

"It's a nice way to get into the holiday spirt, and a nice way to hear those songs sung the way they should be sung," Schoellkopf said. "We have a very rousing rendition of the 'Carol of the Bells' and a beautiful version of 'Silent Night.' Those are my two favorites."

Also this week, the Broadway Market Holiday Food and Craft Fair continues daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through Christmas Eve. It includes live music, Christmas crafts and an assortment of special holiday foods, including homemade smoked ham, poultry, pierogi, sausage, fish, local produce, imported goods and desserts.