The Singing Christmas Tree™
History of The Singing Christmas Tree™
In 1952 innovators of the Charlotte Choral Society (today called "Carolina Voices") were struck by the unique idea of hanging live ornaments on a Christmas Tree and then training the ornaments to sing. The first "Singing Christmas Tree™" was presented there in 1954 and during the years since it has delighted many thousands. The idea has been borrowed many times in those years.
Under direction of our founder, Doris Cross, choir members and members of the Military Community in Frankfurt were organized in order to make Frankfurt's own "Singing Christmas Tree™" a successful venture. Original structural plans were obtained and modified to the needs of the Army Chapel, then home to the GACC e.V. A giant Christmas Tree, thirty feet high and weighing nine tons and made of wood and steel was constructed and erected by the US Army Engineers. Yards of greenery and over 3,000 lights were strung. The striking visual and musical experience was a resounding success and a tradition was begun in the Rhine-Main German-American Community.
In 1999, 25 years after it began, the choir had a new scaffolding made to support the "Tree". After several years of planning and saving, the GACC e.V.; now a non-profit organization independent of the US Army, had a modern aluminum support which is more easily adaptable to different locations.
Background to music
The "Christmas Medley" and "Silent Night" have been the last two songs to be sung at every GACC e.V. "Singing Christmas Tree™" since the beginning.
The Medley, arranged by Warren Martin, was commissioned in 1967 for the Charlotte Choral Society's Christmas Program (the original "Singing Christmas Tree™"). "A Christmas Medley" was the result, combining fifteen of the best known and best loved carols. This blending of popular carols includes sacred and secular, ancient and modern, and together they provide an exciting tribute to the festive season.
Mr. Martin was head of the Theory Department at Westminster Choir College, New Jersey, which is where Doris Cross, founder and director of the GACC e.V. from 1973 - 1978, studied.
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