Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Morning Star Boys’ Ranch Christmas choral group ends an era

the Inland Register

(From the Jan. 18, 2007 edition of the Inland Register)

Morning Star Boys’ Ranch Christmas choral group singers from each of the past five decades took part in the farewell Christmas sing-along for Ron and Marsha Feller Dec. 11 at the Spokane Doubletree Hotel. Above, the Fellers – Marsha at left, Ron at far right — are pictured with the evening’s youngest (Kai, age 13) and oldest (Rick Fleck, 57, center) singers. (IR photo from Morning Star Boys’ Ranch)

Nearly 200 current Morning Star Boys’ Ranch residents, alumni, board members, staff and guests along with their families took part in a Christmas Carol sing-a-long on Dec. 11 that marked the end of a 40-year Ranch tradition.

Held at the downtown Doubletree Hotel, the event served as the 40th and final gathering of the Morning Star Christmas Choral Group as directed by Ron and Marsha Feller.

The evening’s choral ensemble featured Ranch residents and alumni from each of the past five decades, including boys-now-men from the original group.

The Fellers, who have directed the outreach program since 1966, were paid special honor during the evening banquet gathering.

Over the years the choir has become a mainstay of the yule season for the Spokane area, with the group visiting dozens of church groups, senior centers, civic gatherings as well as special venues.

“When alumni come back and visit the Ranch, they invariably ask about Ron and Marsha,” said Dan Kuhlmann, acting director of Morning Star. “The impact they have had on so many of our boys cannot be measured.”

While the Fellers call Spokane home and have invested 40 Christmas seasons working with the Morning Star choral troupe, much of the rest of their year is spent on the road throughout the United States, visiting schools, conferences and educator organizations where they teach storytelling, mask making, story writing and song writing.

Their popular workshops have kept them in demand throughout the country for school assemblies, family concerts, young writers’ conferences, artists’ residencies, educational seminars and college courses.

They are the authors of two books: Paper Masks and Puppets for Stories, Songs and Plays and Fanciful Faces & Handbound Books: Fairy Tales.

Celebrating its 50th anniversary, Morning Star is a residential group home for boys ages 10-17 located on Glenrose Prairie in Spokane. It has served nearly 1,300 boys since opening its doors in January of 1957.

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