Holiday music stops at Irving Berlin’s NY door

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NEW YORK — A caroling group that for 35 years has performed the Irving Berlin classic “White Christmas” on Christmas Eve outside the New York City home where the composer lived has cancelled the tradition.

A group spokesman says the plans were abruptly cancelled last week for lack of space at the Manhattan home, which now serves as the Luxembourg consulate.

The tradition started in the late 1970s with one cabaret singer outside the home. In 1983, Berlin invited the singers inside for cocoa and cookies.

Berlin died in 1989 at age 99.

Luxembourg Consul-General Jean-Claude Knebeler tells the New York Post the ballroom where the group performed is filled with office equipment because the consulate expanded. He says he hopes the tradition resumes in another year in the consulate’s library.

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