The Marching Rams of T.C. Roberson High School in Asheville, North Carolina, recently ushered in the arrival of Biltmore’s 35-foot tall Banquet Hall Christmas Tree.

The event marks the start of Christmas at Biltmore each year. The 70-member marching band was the first high school marching band to participate in the annual Christmas tree-raising event.

The Biltmore Youth Education and Enrichment Team invited the band to perform as a preview of new music programming the estate plans to announce in the coming months, including Biltmore Music Showcase, premiering in April 2019.

The band led the processional around the front lawn of Biltmore House right to the front door. Roberson’s color guard carried giant wrapped gifts just ahead of the horse-drawn carriage containing Santa Claus and the 3,500-pound Fraser Fir. After Biltmore’s team safely lifted the tree off the carriage and carried it into the house, the band performed several Christmas carols for the crowd gathered to see the spectacle.

“At our band’s core is a belief that hard work and the sharing of our musical gifts will have a tremendous power in bringing our community together. We experienced that today with this time honored tradition at Biltmore,” said James Kirkpatrick, the band’s director. “The band’s performance at Biltmore is among our students’ favorites of all time.”

High school and middle school instrumental and vocal ensembles are eligible to take advantage of this exclusive opportunity to perform at Biltmore. All applicants must complete an audition process, as well as pay a performance fee. Performances will be held on the grounds surrounding Biltmore House, April through June.

As part of the new program, Biltmore will provide risers, music stands, and other equipment to accommodate these groups.

“We are excited to offer this educational experience to music groups,” said Tim Hill, Biltmore’s director of sales. “In addition to their performance at Biltmore, students will be able to tour through Biltmore House. It’s such a unique place – there’s nothing else like it.”

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