The Singing Christmas Tree
A Carolina Family Tradition
"Carolina Voices presented its very first Singing Christmas Tree in 1954," says Sue Wheldon, Carolina Voices' Executive Director. "At that time, we were called Charlotte Choral Society and the singers first performed holiday music on the steps of a local funeral home, with singers standing in the shape of a Tree. The idea came from one of the singers who had seen the outdoor Singing Christmas Tree at Belhaven University in Mississippi, first performed in 1933.”
Ms. Wheldon says that The Choral Society's concert was so well received by the community that the organization had a large ‘Tree’ structure designed and built before the following holiday season. That's when the organization presented its first, full-scale Singing Christmas Tree production in what was a brand-new Ovens Auditorium. The show was a huge hit! Today, we are thrilled to continue this Carolina tradition by presenting The Singing Christmas Tree for the 59th year in Ovens Auditorium on December 14 & 15, 2013. We hope you'll be in the audience!
THE 59th ANNUAL SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE production showcases the members of Carolina Voices' MainStage Choir directed by Artistic Director, Peter Leo. The choir is the largest of Carolina Voices’ three ensembles and is made up of 80+ choir members who volunteer their time and talent to this extraordinary production. Rehearsals start in September and members are required to learn and memorize all their music so they can be ready for “Tree Week’ rehearsals in Ovens Auditorium the week before opening.
So what can you expect when you attend The Singing Christmas Tree? A two-hour holiday spectacular! There will be an abundance of holiday music, of course, special vocal performances, and even a sing-a-long or two. Joining the Mainstage Choir on stage will be The Grey Seal Puppets led by creator and head puppeteer, Drew Allison. Drew and his puppeteers have been performing on Tree productions for more than 28 years. In addition, we’ll be welcoming back the energetic Eddie Mabry Dancers. And, we are happy to announce that Caroline Calouche & Co. will be joining us this year with her amazing troupe of aerial dancers. Going to the Tree is a great way to kick-off your family's holiday season!
THE SINGING CHRISTMAS TREE FOR KIDS is performed the same weekend as The Singing Christmas Tree and continues to be among the most popular holiday shows for children in the Carolinas. At just one hour in length, it offers the perfect combination of holiday music, sing-a-longs, puppetry, dance and a ho-ho-ho-ing Santa. In addition, Carolina Voices holds special events in conjunction with the KIDS shows, including Lunch with Santa and new this year, Cookies & Milk with Santa, both sponsored by Chick-Fil-A. Each event allows children the opportunity to meet and greet Santa on a one-to-one basis. Tickets are limited, however, so get yours early!
What is the SNEAK PREVIEW? Each year, Carolina Voices hosts a Sneak Preview performance of The Singing Christmas Tree for an invitation-only audience. Through this outreach program, we invite over 200 social service agencies and their clients to attend the dress rehearsal performance of the Singing Christmas Tree absolutely free (held this year on December 13). Tickets are distributed to members of these agencies who have physical, mental or financial challenges and might not otherwise have an opportunity to experience a holiday production. If you are with a social service agency and would like to inquire about being included in the Sneak Preview invitation list, please contact the main office at 704.374.1564. 2013 will mark the 19th year that Carolina Voices has held its Sneak Preview performance for the community.