Two Historic Events Friday and Saturday

Our men’s soccer team will play in the semi-finals of the national tournament for the first time in 20 years – the year we won the national title.

Friday’s kickoff against Lindsey Wilson is slated for 12:00 pm. A live video broadcast of the game will be shown in Barber Auditorium on Belhaven’s campus. Fans can also follow along with live stats, courtesy of Dakstats and the NAIA, and access the NAIA National Championship Tournament page by clicking here.  If they win, they will play in the national championship game on Saturday at 3pm.

MONTGOMERY, Ala.- The Belhaven men’s soccer team punched its ticket to the 2012 NAIA National Championship Semifinals on Wednesday with 3-2 come from behind victory over Hannibal-LaGrange University. This year’s appearance with be the third trip to the semifinal round in the history of the program. The Blazers first semifinal appearance came in 1982 and the most recent up until this season was the national championship campaign of 1992.

Victor Lawrence scored two goals and Victor France added the game winner in the final three minutes to deliver the win and setup up Friday’s showdown with Lindsey Wilson. France’s game winning goal came on a free kick following a critical foul by Hannibal-LaGrange. France made a perfect kick into the top-shelf on the left side of the net for what would prove to be the game winner in the 87th minute.

To get to Hannibal-LaGrange, the Blazers had to navigate matches against two other tough opponents. Belhaven topped Tennessee Wesleyan 5-0 in the opening round and then upset previously unbeaten University of Science and Arts (OK) 2-1. The Blazers will now face top-seed and defending NAIA National Champion Lindsey Wilson.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 80th Singing Christmas Tree will be presented Friday and Saturday night this week. Below is a story from the Clarion Ledger

Singing Christmas tree turns 80 – Belhaven plans reunion choir

The Belhaven Singing Christmas Tree celebrates its 80th year this weekend with traditional song and a reunion bonus.

To celebrate the milestone, a special Reunion Choir of past Belhaven Christmas tree singers will join students for the performances Friday and Saturday in the Belhaven University Athletic Bowl.

The popular event began in 1933 and is considered the country’s oldest outdoor singing Christmas tree event.

“We thought it would be fun to have people from the previous years to come and join with the existing soloists and singers from the current generation of students,” said Christopher Shelt, professor of voice, church music and choral activities at Belhaven University. Response has been good, he said, with activity stepping up as the event nears. Some who have reached their own eighth decade are planning to join in.

Previous years’ soloists will be part of a back-up ensemble for the student soloist on “O Holy Night,” a concert fixture. Alums can come the day of the tree at 5:30 p.m. and rehearse with the singers an hour and participate in selected pieces, Shelt said. “We’ve made mp3s tracks for everybody to be able to rehearse the music ahead of time … get the melodies and the harmonies in their minds before they come and join the whole group.”

This year’s Singing Christmas Tree could be as many as 170 voices strong, with dozens in the Reunion Choir joining 140 or so students, plus faculty and staff.

“There are a few musical enhancements, but it’s just an opportunity to get together people from years past — kind of the more the merrier,” Shelt said.

Bettye Quinn, associate professor of education at Belhaven, remembers the tree from age 3 in 1937, with its 50 white-robed girls holding lights that reflected in the lagoon. “It was just a glorious sight for a little girl to see,” Quinn is quoted in a news release. She’s come back every year since.

This year brings a voice boost. That joins the visual boost the tree got last year — computerized lighting with programmed cues for patterns and sequences with the carols.

“It’s the coolest thing,” David Sprayberry, assistant director of communications, said. “Everybody brings a blanket or lawn chair, the lights are in sync with the song, and it’s certainly a spectacle.”

This historic image of Belhaven’s Singing Christmas Tree, with women only, is pre-1955

 

 

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