Though Washington has Christmas trees in every nook and cranny, none is so full of life as Greenville, S.C.'s, Singing Christmas Tree. This magical performing "tree," appearing live today in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall, has a large chorus of student singers pumping out the yuletide carols with all their might, as well as a live angel atop and gifts of dancers and musicians displayed around its base.
Along with the Greenville County Youth Orchestra, the chorus of high school students performs standing on tiers to form the 24-foot, 7-level tree, costumed in green robes with red collars.
Since 1966, the singing tree has been the focus of Greenville's holiday festivities. With the original 1940s Disneyland Singing Christmas Tree as his inspiration, L.P. Hollis, with the backing of South Carolina Steel, which donated the structure, kicked off this Christmas community project in an effort to support the arts of Greenville.
"He felt it could serve as an excellent showcase for the artistically talented children in Greenville," says Steve Morland, artistic and production director of this year's project. So splendid is their performance that for the last four years Greenville's Singing Tree has been invited to Washington to participate in the Kennedy Center holiday festivities. This year's theme will "The Bells of Christmas," with such carols as "Ding Dong! Merrily on High" and the Ray Charles arrangement of "Jingle Bells."
Performances begin at 3 and 7 p.m. in the Kennedy Center Concert Hall. For more information, call 254-3776. -- Claudia Sandlin