For almost four decades the Living Christmas Tree has been thrilling audiences in the greater Moncton area with its entertaining blend of music, lighting, and song. For many people the season doesn’t ”start” until the LCT has been put on and draws thousands of people from all over the Maritimes.
Involving a cast of over 200, the tree features music, dance and drama and the accompaniment of a live band, and this year had a special treat in an almost week long guest appearance by country star Jason McCoy! This year it features improved stage effects, a snowflake filled auditorium, the pristine Wesleyan Celebration Center, and a guest country superstar!
Moncton Wesleyan is Atlantic Canada’s largest church, with a congregation of over 3500 people averaging more than 1,700 persons in attendance each weekend and have had a presence of over 100 years in the City of Moncton. The Wesleyan Celebration Center is a comfortable 1800 seat, two level auditorium that contains modern lighting, sound, and projection systems. The Atrium acts as a large foyer to the Center and off the atrium there is a secondary Life Center with a 600 seat auditorium with stage. Adding to all of this this year was the addition of Canadian country superstar Jason McCoy whom is a two time CCMA Male Vocalist of the Year and winner of the Global Artist Award in 2006 by the CMA’s in Nashville. He is also well known for writing many great country hits for other artists like Doc Walker (Rocket Girl), and collaborating on many others.
The show always starts with a grand spectacle and this year it was music and lights and about 50 dancing Santas, that got the crowd into it right away, followed up by a local school choir which was a feature of the show all week, by having local schools participate in the show. The show featured everything from choral performances, to individual songs, trios in sleighs, and it even had “the Grinch”! The Grinch took us through some fantastical keyboard playing, playing music from the Phantom of the Opera, and being joined by kids of the church to do the “grinch rap” after a baritone choral member did an admiral job filling in for Boris Karloff in the Grinch song/narration.
Soon after the stage was taken by none other than the featured artist, who regaled us with great stories, songs, and an unexpected humor that had everyone enjoying themselves. He spoke to what Christmas meant to him and his young family, and told stories of his youth intermingled with songs and jovial anecdotes.
After a twenty minute intermission where you could buy refreshments in the Atrium, bake-sale cookies, and visit the “World Vision” table to get informed about adopting an needy child in a third world country, it was time to light the Living Christmas Tree. With the auditorium filling with choral sounds of the season the ‘living’ Christmas Tree comes to life with it’s 35,000 multi-coloured bulbs undulating from top to bottom and side to side and it’s ‘choir ornaments’ adorning the tree.
The almost three hour event went on with more songs, a great live painting to music, an interview of Jason McCoy by lead pastor L.D. Buckingham about his work with World Vision and more performances by the country star. Not wanting to give too much away I must say the show was a great event all around and lead right up to the grand finale complete with ‘flying’ angels that soared above the crowd.
The Living Christmas tree is a spectacle of lights, sound, laughter, music and spiritual messages that many will take many different things from, but it is an all around top notch local production that next year with be celebrating it’s 40th Anniversary, for which, I expect they will pull out all of the stops! I want the thank the LCT Director Pastor Don Ingersoll, The Moncton Wesleyan, and Jason McCoy for a humorous and fun musical evening and encourage you all to take in the show next year for their 40th anniversary! Until next time!