CMT Insider Interview: Trisha Yearwood on Christmas at Belmont

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Trisha Yearwood used her talents to get everyone into the holiday spirit while taping a new PBS holiday special at Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center. The concert also provided her with something of a homecoming.

Christmas at Belmont features Yearwood performing with more than 400 voices from Belmont University and the Nashville Children’s Choir. She has a special connection to the event as a 1987 graduate of Belmont, a private university located in Nashville.

Last year’s show, also telecast on PBS, was hosted by American Idol finalist Melinda Doolittle, another Belmont alumnus. Yearwood said she paid close attention to the 2008 production.

“I had a chance to see their performance last year when we were talking about doing this,” she told CMT Insider’s Allison DeMarcus. “Of course, being a Belmont graduate, anytime they call, I try to help out if I can. I really was interested in doing this because it’s just beautifully done and very classy.”

Yearwood was also anxious to perform onstage at the symphony hall that opened in downtown Nashville in 2006.

“I think the Schermerhorn is amazing,” she said. “I’m so proud for our community to have this building. It’s beautiful, and I was really excited to be involved.”

Asked what it’s like performing onstage with so many young people, Yearwood replied, “It’s the holiday time, and you’re in such an amazing place to see the excitement in their faces and to see that enthusiasm. That’s what carries you through. I’ve been doing this [performing professionally] for 18 years, but I still have that real enthusiasm. And I hope they get that — that I’m having a great time. I’m having as much fun as they are. It always energizes me when you are with a group of people like this who really love what they’re doing.”

The 2009 production of Christmas at Belmont is schedule to air Dec. 23 on PBS stations nationwide.