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Dublin: 12°C Sunday 16 May 2021

American school builds insane 67-foot Singing Christmas Tree made of 275 children

Nobody cough.

Singing Christmas Tree Source: AP

A SCHOOL CHOIR in the US state of Michigan is this week making final preparations for its especially strange and spectacular annual Christmas tradition.

The 67-foot-tall Mona Shores Singing Christmas Tree features 25,000 lights, 5,000 linear feet of greenery, and 15 tiers on which about 220 choir members stand.

About 50 other students sing from positions near the base of the tree.

“It’s basically … a bunch of choir students standing in a tree singing Christmas music,” said Brynne Wilcox, a Mona Shores High School student who is taking part in her fourth and final set of shows.

First-years are relegated to the bottom of the five-story tree, while second and third-years populate the middle.

Final year students set up shop in the upper levels.

Singing Christmas Tree Source: AP

The very top is the domain of the “Tree Angel,” a student selected by Shawn Lawton, the director of the school choir, who explained:

It’s not that kid who’s the greatest singer, necessarily. But instead just someone with a lot of heart who maybe has lived through a lot and still smiles.

Lawton picked two Tree Angels this year, marking only the second time that’s been done in the 31-year history of the show. They will alternate performances at the summit of the tree.

Wilcox is positioned just below the angel.

It’s definitely a little scarier when you’re 14 rows up than when you’re standing on the ground.

As an extra layer of security, however, a group of around two-dozen parents (known as “tree monkeys”) climb on to platforms behind the singers, ready to help anyone overcome by vertigo, or heat from the lights.

Singing Christmas Tree Source: AP

Darcy Welsh, herself a former “branch” in the Singing Christmas Tree, and now a parent, says:

If we have to bring them out of the tree, we have an area with nurses, and there is food and drink.

All 275 student singers made it safely through a dress rehearsal on Wednesday night for members of the community with special needs, the elderly, and others who might not otherwise be able to come to the show.

Audience members roared in approval when the Singing Christmas Tree — shrouded in darkness at the start of the show — burst into light as the choir belted out Gloria.

“It means the world to me to carry on the tradition,” choir-leader Lawton said.

Here’s how the whole thing went in 2008:

Source: velaluzvideo/YouTube

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: Australian Christmas tree sets world record for boasting over 500,000 lights>

Read: The ultimate Christmas tree is made of 300 beer kegs>

About the author:

Dan MacGuill

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