published Thursday, December 5th, 2013

‘Peace on Earth’ theme of 51st Singing Christmas Tree - Dec. 7


* What: Chattanooga Boys Choir’s Singing Christmas Tree.

* When: 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.

* Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.

* Admission: $10-$30.

* Phone: 423-642-TIXS.

* Website:

How will the Chattanooga Boys Choir top last year’s 50th anniversary performance of the Singing Christmas Tree?

With performances of music representing different cultures, languages and faiths — but all exhorting the theme of this year’s presentation, “Peace on Earth.”

The 51st Singing Christmas Tree, a holiday tradition of the Chattanooga Boys Choir, will be presented in two performances on Saturday, Dec. 7, at the Tivoli Theatre.

“The boys are singing everything from Movement 1 of Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ to a Spanish carol called ‘A La Puerta del Cielo’ and ‘Ose Shalom,’ a traditional Hebrew prayer,” says director Vincent Oakes.

Oakes says that he has been collecting ideas along this theme for several years, but they had to be put on hold until last year’s golden anniversary show.

“One of those was inviting the Orange Grove Center chorus to perform with us,” he says. “The chorus is a part of the arts therapy program that they do with residents there. They were very excited to do this, and we’re excited about what they’ll bring to the tree.”

Joining the OGC chorus on the program will be dancers from Ballet Tennessee. Musicians with the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Youth Orchestra, directed by Gary Wilkes, will accompany the Boys Choir on eight pieces.

Oakes says the 70 choristers on the tree will sing a range of music from a setting of the text to “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day,” to the 1977 Bing Crosby/David Bowie duet of “Little Drummer Boy.” As is tradition with Singing Tree performances, the youngest choirs will present a live Nativity in the first half. They will join Santa for his second-half arrival during “Jingle Bell Rock.”

The oldest singers of the Cantabile Choir will perform “What Child Is This?” and Lon Beery’s “Cantate Domino.”

Oakes says all the performers will combine to sing “Let There Be Peace on Earth” in what he believes will be an emotional finale.

“I think the verse that says ‘Let me walk with my brothers in perfect harmony’ will be pretty cool when we have 130 youth onstage together.”

Contact Susan Pierce at or 423-757-6284.

about Susan Pierce...

Susan Palmer Pierce is a reporter and columnist in the Life department. She began her journalism career as a summer employee 1972 for the News Free Press, typing bridal announcements and photo captions. She became a full-time employee in 1980, working her way up to feature writer, then special sections editor, then Lifestyle editor in 1995 until the merge of the NFP and Times in 1999. She was honored with the 2007 Chattanooga Woman of ...

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