Last year, I wrote about Judy Pancoast, the Grammy-nominated singer, who gives outdoor concerts at homes who are decked out in Christmas splendor. She performs her holiday music while attendees enjoy the light show from neighborhood decorations.
This holiday season, she has two stops in Central Florida.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 11, Pancoast will perform at the home of Scott and Daneen Cross, 4241 N. Econlockhatchee Trail, Orlando.
"We are very excited to be a part of Judy's concert tour" says Scott Cross, homeowner. Judy will perform with the 40,000-plus light Cross Christmas display as her backdrop. Attendees are encouraged to bring a donation for Autism Speaks, a leading charity dedicated to funding research and increasing awareness for autism spectrum disorders.
Then, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12, Pancoast will sing at the home of Calvin and Claire Slater 1033 Jeater Bend Drive, Celebration. The lights of eight nearby homes will be synchronized to her music. That concert will benefit Celebration 34747 CARES, which helps displaced families from U.S. 192.
A food container and charity donation box will be in front of 1033 Jeater Bend Drive.
When I spoke to Pancoast last year, she told me that crowds at her neighborhood shows have ranged from the hundreds in warmer climes such as Texas to smaller numbers listening from the warmth of their cars in places where temperatures dipped below freezing.
But even then, listeners showed their appreciation.
"I'd sing something and they'd toot their horns and flash their lights," Pancoast said.
A songwriter since age 15, Pancoast is based in Goffstown, N.H., and specializes in children's music: songs such as "Swimming in Jello" and "The Potty Dance."
She wrote "The House on Christmas Street" in 1998 as a tribute to homeowners such as Walker, who provide holiday cheer to their neighbors with elaborate Christmas displays.
"Everywhere I've lived there's been one of those houses," Pancoast said. "I can remember going to see them."
Pancoast isn't paid for these gigs, though her children's and holiday CDs will be available to purchase.