For the past 21 years, Johnston Community College has brought a Christmas showcase to its Paul A. Johnston Auditorium.
The college will do the same this year but with a twist.
“A Carolina Christmas” will still feature classic holiday tunes performed by a variety of vocalists, but this year, the theme is nature in winter. The theme was inspired by the beauty of the college’s Howell Woods Environmental Learning Center in winter.
“Howell Woods is so absolutely gorgeous that we were kind of inspired by some of the beautiful landscapes we had seen,” said Zilphia Adcock, manager of performing arts at JCC. “We wanted to incorporate that into our inside theme.”
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The auditorium will emulate Howell Woods this time of year, Adcock said. Evergreens will dot the stage, and the lobby will be decked in lighting and trees that will come directly from Howell Woods, she said.
“It will remind folks of walking down a street in New York City through Central Park,” Adcock said.
The annual show aims to get Johnstonians into the Christmas spirit. It typically features aspiring performers looking for an opportunity to sing in a professional venue with a live band.
Performers have to audition for a spot in the show. Adcock said the talent is outstanding.
“I hope (people) realize the talent we have here in Johnston County and surrounding areas,” she said. “You don’t have to drive to Raleigh, Durham or Myrtle Beach to see a truly great production and true talent.”
This year’s show will feature nine guest performers, including college president Dr. David Johnson, who will sing “The Christmas Song.”
New this year will be modern takes on classic Christmas songs, Adcock said. Among them will Relient K’s version of “Sleigh Ride.”
“We’re bringing in kind of a new feel through a new generation of music and performers,” Adcock said.
But lovers of Christmas classics lovers shouldn’t fear. “What Child is This?” and “Blue Christmas” are still on the playlist.
The Christmas show is JCC’s biggest, Adcock said, drawing 2,000 to 3,000 fans over the three shows. It’s a great experience for the whole family, she said.
“I think it is going to be a really wonderful opportunity for people to kick off the holiday season without having to travel out of the county,” she said. “It’s even worth a trip into the county to see.”