A Musical Christmas Tradition at Denton State Supported Living Center

December 4, 2019

A longstanding Holiday tradition in DFW made special by the performances of DFW musicians – and supported by Music Performance Trust Fund – is the annual Christmas Pageant held for the residents at the Denton State Supported Living Center. Opened in 1960 and designed as a community for individuals with intellectual and developmental difficulties, the center’s annual Christmas Pageant has become a highly anticipated yearly event for the community for more than 30 years.

Originally written by the center’s music therapist Joe Pinson, the program dramatizes the Christmas story – with the entire cast of characters. With the total participation of the community’s residents, the pageant is as much an educational event for them as it is a celebration.

Local 72-147 member Marshall Smith has contracted and performed for the program for more than 20 years and is moved by how highly anticipated the show is for the residents and how meaningful the music has become to them. Being a part of this program is so important to them. “I think they think about it all year! It’s an amazing thing – music is such a powerful thing,” said Smith as he remembered the expressions of life and joy brought about by the performances. “I think the musicians enjoy it too because it is really worthwhile, heartwarming, and interesting.” Charlie Hall, who has performed the pageant for a number of years, also remarked, “ I know Christmas is really here when we play this pageant.” Local 72-147 is pleased to support this event through the funding of Music Performance Trust Fund, whose mission includes contributing to the public knowledge and appreciation of music, as well as making music a part of every child’s life experience.