LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla, Dec. 23, 2010 -- Shining in the musical spotlight long before the popularity of glee clubs, several Central Florida student choirs have made a tradition of illuminating the holidays with their gift of song
For nearly 40 years, hundreds of local chorale groups have provided the vocal brilliance for the Candlelight Processional at Walt Disney World Resort and in return, many of them have made this Disney experience part of their own personal holiday tradition.
At many schools, students begin rehearsing as early as August to prepare for their auditions in September. Once selected, students adhere to a rigorous rehearsal schedule which continues through November when more than 100 students are pitch-perfect and ready to perform.
Hundreds of musical groups look forward to the opportunity to sing in Candlelight Processional and regard the event as a prestigious honor. Aspiring singers are presented with a unique opportunity to perform under the formal direction of a skilled conductor, along with a live orchestra and celebrity narrator. In addition, the students perform on a professional stage before a global audience. According to the students’ teachers, they also have the chance to sing with several other choir groups from around the United States and appreciate learning to sing in two other languages – Spanish and German.
Candlelight Processional Facts
- Candlelight Processional was first performed in at Walt Disney World Resort in 1971 at the train station at the Magic Kingdom. The production moved to Epcot in 1994, where it is currently performed three times a night from November 26 – December 30.
- The nightly shows includes 817 performers, including:
- 600 guest choir members
- 144 cast choir members
- 52 professional musicians
- 16 professional singers from Epcot’s Voices of Liberty
- 3 conductors
- 1 celebrity narrator
- 1 sign-language interpreter.
- Each performance includes 16 songs.
- 239 guest choirs representing more than 17,000 singers are scheduled to perform this year.
- The choirs come from Canada, the United Kingdom, 21 states and represent groups from high schools, colleges and churches.