BY RUTH RICE
When B.E. Taylor brings his Christmas show to Johnstown, it will be a very important performance.
“I treat every show like it’s the most important,” Taylor said. “We perform like the audience has never seen the show before and will never see it again. On Dec. 8, that will be our most important show.”
B.E. Taylor Christmas will be presented at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8 at Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Township.
Taylor takes well-known Christmas songs and puts his own spin on them, what some have called “Taylorizing.”
His arrangements go across the board from pop to ballads to island music.
“We have nine performers on the stage that I’ve worked with for years,” Taylor said. “We have a strong vocal performance and a strong visual, too.”
In every performance, Taylor includes a local high school drum line in the show.
“It ties into the community,” he said. “These are their kids. The drum line plays one song with us, then we feature them in whatever they want to do.”
The drum line for the local concert will be from Greater Johnstown High School.
The choir from Aliquippa Church in the Round, Beaver County, also will take part in the show.
“They do about seven shows with us,” Taylor said. “Aliquippa is where I’m from. At this time of year, it’s hard to find a choir available that can get it done. They do six or seven songs with us at the end, and it brings the house down.”
Taylor considers his Christmas concert a bright spot in a negative world and hopes to make the Johnstown show an annual event.
While his Christmas concert has received rave reviews, the most important thing to Taylor is the audience.
“People have embraced my arrangements, and I include the audience,” Taylor said. “It’s like we’re at their house. It’s not like an audience and a performer.”
Fans have e-mailed Taylor to thank him for putting on a show they can enjoy. Some weren’t in the mood for Christmas when they came to the show, but found themselves singing along or in tears, he said.
“The main thing is that they go out singing,” Taylor said. “I’ve had people ask me in January when the next Christmas show will be. I do other concerts, but nothing compares to the success of the Christmas concert.”
Taylor started what he calls Christmas’ greatest hits in the early 1990s, never realizing how popular the concert would become.
“We did it to have fun,” he said. “We could not have planned this. We thought the live show would last two to three years max.”
Taylor’s Christmas show has sold out a 2,500-seat venue in Wheeling, W.Va., and Heinz Hall in Pittsburgh.
He also has performed in Cleveland and Chicago.
What: B.E. Taylor Christmas.
Where: Pasquerilla Performing Arts Center, Richland Township.
When: 7:30 p.m. Dec. 8.
Tickets: $28, plus $4 handling fee per order.
Information: 269-7200, (800) 846-2787 or www.upjarts.com.