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KUTX holiday sing-along goes virtual with Shinyribs, Gina Chavez, more

Gina Chavez will perform at the KUTX virtual holiday sing-along.  [Scott Moore/Austin360]

With coronavirus cases spiking around Texas, Austin's public radio stations, KUT 90.5 FM and KUTX 98.9 FM, have canceled the annual event that draws hundreds of Austinites to the Texas State Capitol for a festive holiday sing-along. 

Instead, they will be presenting a pre-recorded virtual version of the event hosted by KUTX's Elizabeth McQueen and featuring top Austin talents, Molly Burch, Gina Chavez, Eimaral Sol and Shinyrib’s Kevin Russell.

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“We’re sad because we can’t sing together in person, but we know we’ll be together again soon,” KUT and KUTX General Manager Debbie Hiott said in a release about the event. “In the meantime, we’ve teamed up with some of our favorite Austin artists to bring good cheer into your home. We hope we can provide you with some family fun.”

KUT will be releasing a video of the special, which will include a mix of traditional Christmas songs like "Silent Night" and "Sleigh Ride" alongside contemporary faves like Dolly Parton's "Hard Candy Christmas, along with a downloadable songbook at singalong.kutx.org on Sunday, Dec. 13. The video and songbook will be available through Dec. 31.

The sing-along was started by KUT DJ John Aielli who began gathering with friends to sing Christmas carols in the Capitol rotunda each year in the early '80s. Aielli, who has been off the air after suffering a stroke earlier this year, will make an appearance at the event.