December 4, 2020 (Jackson, Miss.) - Since this year's performance of the Belhaven University Singing Christmas Tree was canceled, the University is giving the community a chance to watch and reflect on years past.
The selected video performances go back a decade and the nostalgic photos give a glimpse even further back to the early years of the historic event.
The Belhaven University Singing Christmas Tree is an event that we love giving to the community, said Belhaven University President Dr. Roger Parrott. Canceling this year's singing Christmas tree is a disappointment for many, especially us, but we are excited about the prospects of a new year and new possibilities. We are hopeful that next year's performance will be possible and we look forward to picking up where we left-off.
Belhaven's Singing Christmas Tree is a rich Belhaven tradition, enjoyed by more than a thousand people each year. This annual event, started in 1933, is considered to be the world's first and oldest outdoor singing Christmas tree tradition.
The singing Christmas tree began as an informal gathering for faculty and students to come watch Belhaven music professor Mignonne Caldwell's choir sing in the formation of a Christmas tree. Realizing that members of the community would enjoy witnessing this event, Caldwell moved the concert outside, between Preston and Fitzhugh Halls. The first wooden tree frame for the choir was constructed by Mr. C. V. McLain, an engineer. Thus, the outdoor singing Christmas tree tradition was born.
Since its creation, the tree frame has grown taller, candles were exchanged for LED lights, voices and music were amplified and more singers were added each year. Today, the wood and metal structure holds over 100 men and women. The lights change colors in various patterns and sequences according to the character of each Christmas carol, creating a visual spectacle for listeners. Performances are always free and scheduled for the first weekend of December in the Belhaven Bowl Stadium.
87th Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree - 2019
85th Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree - 2017
83rd Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree - 2015
81st Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree - 2013
78th Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree - 2010