Trey McLaughlin conducts a rehearsal for Creative Impressions' Behold the Star production Dec. 11, 2022. Photo by Charmain Z. Brackett
Trey McLaughlin conducts a rehearsal for Creative Impressions' Behold the Star production Dec. 11, 2022. Photo by Charmain Z. Brackett

Behold the Star performance set for Dec. 17

Creative Impressions made a profound impact on Jona Gaskin as a teen.

“It was a place where I could expand my creativity, and it pushed me to excellence,” said Gaskin, whose 12-year-old daughter, Moriah, is now a part of the singing group that has always meant so much to her.

Founded in 1996, Creative Impressions is a vocal ensemble for children between the ages of 12 and 18.

A highlight of each season is the annual Behold the Star presentation. Alumni typically return to participate. This year, the mother-daughter duo will share the stage in the alto section for the concert at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, at Augusta University’s Grover C. Maxwell Performing Arts Theatre, 2500 Walton Way.

Members of Creative Impressions rehearse for Behold the Star.

“It’s really exciting,” said Gaskin as she anticipates the first time the two will perform together.

This is the first year Creative Impressions has performed Behold the Star live since 2019, and its artistic director Trey McLaughlin is looking forward to bringing the ensemble together for some traditional favorites as well as special numbers.

“It’s going to be a good experience with the new kids,” said McLaughlin. “We’ve probably got the biggest numbers in a while.”

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About 50 performers will take the stage Dec. 17 for the concert which will feature songs such as Carol of the Bells, Mary, Did You Know? and Mary Had a Baby as well as a medley including Jingle Bells, Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and Christmas Time is Here.

 Performing in Behold the Star is something alumni look forward to each year.

Brittany Hatcher graduated in 2011 but doesn’t pass up an opportunity to sing with the group.

“It’s like coming home and visiting my family,” she said.

Hatcher started performing with Creative Impressions when she was in middle school. She’d performed with the Augusta Children’s Chorale and needed another musical outlet when her mom found out about Creative Impressions.

She said she loved being part of the ensemble.

“I learned professionalism, stage presence, and I learned acting too. We did skits when we performed. I learned African dance,” she said.

Other alumni share the same types of stories from their involvement.

Celina Smith, who graduated in 2010, said she also feels that sense of family, and what she likes about singing with other alums is meeting people now who weren’t part of the group when she was involved.

 “There’s something magical about the way it pulls us together,” she said.

Tickets for Behold the Star are $17 for seniors who are 60 years old and older and groups of 10 or more and $20 for general admission. They are available here.

Charmain Z. Brackett is the publisher of Augusta Good News. Reach her at Subscribe to the newsletter here.

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