Take the Christmas songs you know and love. Mix in lilting vocals and folksy instrumental stylings of the banjo, ukulele, glockenspiel and harmonium. Make giving the goal. And each holiday season, you have the Kansas City-based trio, The Snow Globes.
“One of the incredible things about Christmas is the nostalgia and feelings those old songs bring up in people,” Lindsey Jones, The Snow Globes’ lead vocalist, says. “It’s those traditions that we have every year—making the same cookies, singing the same songs—going through those familiar rhythms.”
Their audience may start craving familiar songs of the season after Thanksgiving, but for the Snow Globes trio comprised of Lindsey, Barclay Martin and Rick Willoughby, Christmas music is year-round. The holiday season is a whirlwind of public and private performances around the Kansas City area. After a post-holiday break, the group reconvenes in early spring to begin writing, arranging and recording new music.
“We’re crazy busy in December, but it takes all year to get it ready,” Lindsey says.
Since they began playing together in 2011, the group has donated a large portion of their proceeds to benefit a cause they care about. After spending time in Mali, West Africa, Barclay was inspired to form The Wash Project. Since 2013, Snow Globes proceeds have gone to support this nonprofit.
According to Malian folklore, using soap on one’s hands would wash away one’s wealth. Today, Mali has one of the highest infant mortality rates in Africa, a statistic that can be directly addressed by the practice of using soap to wash hands.
The Wash Project reaches children with the message of washing hands with soap to prevent disease through school and leadership clubs, a monthlong soccer tournament, The Wash Cup and a girls’ basketball league.
As the project grew in Mali, so did the need for soap, so a soapmaker trained eight local women and now employs them in a soapmaking cooperative to supply the need in their community.
Lindsey says knowing that the band is impacting the lives of children and bringing them joy through soccer and basketball programs makes their work meaningful.
“We love Christmas music, but the fact that it’s making such a difference is what keeps us going,” she says.
The group now has five records. Snow Globes music is carried at Made in KC stores and is available on iTunes. For more information, visit TheSnowGlobes.com. For more information or to donate to The Wash Project, visit MedicalMissionsFoundation.org.