Belhaven University’s 91st Singing Christmas Tree Coming in December

November 3, 2023 (Jackson, Miss.) - The oldest singing Christmas tree tradition in the United States began at Belhaven University, and this year will mark the 91st performance of Belhaven University's Singing Christmas Tree.

This free event is scheduled for December 1-2 at 7:30 p.m. in the Belhaven Bowl Stadium. 

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. Dance majors, dressed as angels with lighted wings, join the performance for certain songs.

"This annual event has become a cherished tradition to kick-off the Christmas season and we are honored to present this gift to our community,” said Chair of the Music Department Dr. Rebecca Geihsler-Chittom.

Belhaven's performing arts departments are collaborating with tree singers to add their artistry to tell and celebrate the story of the Nativity. Dr. Geihsler-Chittom adds, “The 91st Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree stands apart from previous years. Our collaboration has broadened to encompass a wider array of artistic disciplines that include dance, theatre, art and design, and creative writing.”

Certain traditions have become expected elements to the tree. An auditioned soloist will take the sought-after position under the star and at the top of the tree. This honored soloist will perform “O Holy Night” near the conclusion.

Local artisan baker, Just Vanilla Bakes will be selling a custom dessert inspired by the Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree.

Many families have made this event a family tradition. Mississippians and those from surrounding states make the pilgrimage every year to see this special performance. Mark your calendars, bundle up, bring a blanket, grab some hot chocolate, and celebrate the beginning of the Christmas season at Belhaven University.