Events

A “singing tree” is set to put on a show in Ballston starting next week

The central tree in Welburn Square, waiting to be transformed into a “singing tree” (staff photo by Matt Blitz)

A “singing tree” is set to bring holiday cheer to Ballston.

Next week the Ballston Business Improvement District (BID) is debuting the “Ballston Singing Tree.”

That’s 12 strands of 1,200 sound-responsive lights that “[come] alive as harmonies and melodies grace its branches” draped across the central tree in Welburn Square right off N. Taylor Street.

To celebrate, Ballston BID is hosting an event at 5 p.m. on Wednesday (Dec. 14) at the square. It’s set to include performances by the Arlington Children’s Chorus and local musicians Kara & Matty D as well as food from nearby We, The Pizza, a “Jingle Bar” for adults, and a free hot cocoa bar for kids.

And, of course, the lighting of the tree. More technically, the singing tree will use microphones to turn sounds into a show.

“Microphones capture audio input from the environment around the system, which interprets that data into colors and patterns to display throughout the tree,” says a press release.

The software was designed specifically for Ballston by Canadian developer Limbic Media. Mastercard is listed as a sponsor for the event.

“We are so grateful to our partner and fantastic neighborhood steward, Mastercard, for their generosity and for helping us celebrate this wonderful time of the year,” BID chief Tina Leone said in the press release. “Supporting local Arlington organizations and Ballston businesses is the most special way to give back, and we encourage folks to come down to the tree lighting, enjoy some Christmas carols, try their hand at activating the tree, and enjoy all Ballston has to offer!”

The hope is that this will be the start of an annual tradition, per Ballston BID.

The “Singing Tree” will be in Welburn Square from Dec. 14 through the new year.