Belhaven University’s 89th Singing Christmas Tree to Kickoff Holiday Season
The 89th performance of Belhaven University’s Singing Christmas Tree is scheduled for December 3-4, 7:30 p.m. in the Belhaven Bowl Stadium. This free event is the first and oldest singing Christmas tree tradition in the United States.
Since 1933, the tree frame grew taller, electric lights replaced candles, voices were amplified, and singers were added every year. Today, the metal and wood structure holds over 100 choir singers. Depending on the Christmas carol, lights on the tree change colors in various patterns and create a visual spectacle for listeners.
“This annual event has become a family tradition to kick-off the Christmas season and we are honored to present this gift to our community,” said Mr. Tim Walker, Director of Choral Arts at Belhaven University.
The event will offer popular Christmas carols along with a reimagined singing Christmas tree experience. A combined children’s choir from Madison-Ridgeland Academy, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, and First Presbyterian Day School will add their voices to the performance. The music will also get an upgrade with professional-quality instrumental tracks that will accompany tree singers.
Three of Belhaven’s performing arts departments, theatre, dance, and music, are collaborating with tree singers to add their artistry to tell and celebrate the story of the Nativity. Walker adds, “From a new Mary and Joseph duet to other surprises, this year’s tree will capture the hearts of people from young to old.”
Certain traditions have become expected elements to the tree. An auditioned soloist is positioned under the star located at the very top of the tree. This honored soloist performs “O Holy Night” near the conclusion.