CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A Charlotte holiday tradition will continue for its 58th year on Dec. 8 and 9.
The Singing Christmas Tree was started in 1953 as a group of singers performing on the steps of a funeral home in Charlotte, according to associate executive director Bev Seitz.
In 1954, it became the first singing Christmas tree production in the United States when the singers performed inside Ovens Auditorium – where it has been ever since.
“We have many people who come year after year after year,” Seitz said.
The Carolina Voices Main Stage choir leads the performance.
Seitz added that the production changes a little every year with a new repertoire of songs and guest artists.
The show will be 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 and 3 p.m. Dec. 9 at Ovens Auditorium, 2700 E. Independence Blvd. Tickets are $20 to $33.
“We have about 85 singers in the tree this year,” Seitz said. There will also be Celtic dancers, drummers, a middle school choir, puppets and country music singer and Matthews native Caroline Keller.
Seitz said she expected to reach about 5,000 people through the school. There is also a special sneak preview night where organizers invite 2,000 clients of social services agencies. Seitz said a lot of the people have financial or physical difficulties. They have been holding this sneak preview night for the past 15 years.
“It’s always a heart-warming show,” Seitz said.
For the past five years, the show has a special children’s version of the Singing Christmas tree. The show, which runs about an hour, is geared for ages 3 to 10. Seitz said they focus on more children-friendly songs. Each child gets a jingle bell, which is incorporated into a song.
The children’s Singing Christmas Tree will be 11 a.m. or 3 p.m. Dec. 8. Tickets cost $10 for kids and $18 for adults.
Order by phone by calling 704-374-1564, 800-745-3000 or 704-372-1000.
The parking fee at Ovens Auditorium is $6. Groups of 10 or more receive a discount on tickets and handling fees.