2018 Singing Christmas Tree returns this weekend

Currently hosted at the Calvary Temple Church on 34th Street, the annual Singing Christmas Tree chorale performance has been running in Brandon since the mid-1970s.

For more than four decades, a unique chorale show has been a highlight of the Christmas Season as it kicks off early in December.

The 2018 Calvary Temple Church’s Singing Christmas Tree is scheduled to take place this weekend, featuring 50 adult and 45 youth vocalists alongside a 30-foot, artificial Christmas tree with an array of colored lights. The choir will sing 11 songs in four-part harmony with live drama woven through the show.

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Performances of the Singing Christmas Tree are scheduled to take place at the Calvary Temple Church on 34th Street in Brandon at 7 p.m. on Thursday; 7 p.m. on Friday; 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Saturday; and 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Sunday. Each show will last about an hour and a half. Doors to the church open one hour before show time.

There is no cost to attend, but a free-will offering will be accepted to cover costs related to the show’s production. The Westman and Area Traditional Christmas Dinner will also benefit, receiving 10 per cent of what is collected from the offering. The annual Christmas Dinner is scheduled to take place Christmas Day from noon until 6 p.m. in the Grand Salon of the Victoria Inn.

Attendees can also bring a non-perishable food items for the Brandon Helping Hands Soup Kitchen.

The Singing Christmas Tree has been a part of the local, community Christmas celebrations almost every year since 1974. Back then the stage’s set-up was basic. Singers stood on scaffolds with real tree boughs among them.

Today, a steel structure is used and imitation boughs provide the greenery of the tree. Thousands of multi-colored lights were added about six years ago, providing an even more impressive aesthetic to the event.

Organizers begin putting the performance together in September. Generally, the adult vocalists practice on a weekly basis beginning after the Labor Day long weekend, while younger singers begin preparations in late October.

The Calvary Temple Church seats 450. In previous years, every performance filled to capacity, meaning more than 2500 people attended one of the six performances.

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