Thursday, July 19 , 2018, 12:30 am | Fair 64º


Santa Barbara Songwriters Win U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Songwriting Competition

Kate Wallace and Annie Dahlgren will perform “Peace, Peace, Peace” on Nov. 5 at the Four County Celebration in Sonora

“Peace, Peace, Peace,” a holiday song co-written by Santa Barbara-based songwriters Kate Wallace and Annie Dahlgren, has been selected as the official song of the 2011 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in a statewide competition.

“It’s a beautiful song that not only reflects the spirit of California, but the spirit of the season,” said Maria Benech, U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree coordinator, adding that the song will soon be posted at

Wallace and Dahlgren will perform their song live during the Four County Celebration in Sonora on Nov. 5, when Californians get their first chance to see the 65-foot white fir from the Stanislaus National Forest that will serve as the nation’s Christmas tree.

“I knew immediately, when I heard about the song search, that it was something I wanted to try,” said Wallace, an award-winning singer and songwriter who has produced and recorded four CDs in addition to working as a songwriter for Universal/Polygram Music and Honest Entertainment and performing in folk festivals and music clubs across the country, including Trinity Backstage in Santa Barbara.

Dahlgren is a writer, songwriter and storyteller who has completed more than a dozen screenplays as well as a musical for the stage and another in audio form. As a principal in her production company, Over 40 Productions, she also explores the art of storytelling as a video producer and editor.

“I had to coax Annie a little,” Wallace said, “but once we got going, we felt we had something special on our hands.”

Indeed, known as the “People’s Tree,” this year’s U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree is a gift from Californians to the entire nation, and the song selected to be performed just before the tree being lighted for the first time is intended to represent not only the spirit of the holiday season, but the essence of California itself.

“We asked ourselves, ‘What would we want the global community to hear from this nation, courtesy of California, as we light the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree?’” Wallace said. “It was, without hesitation, joy, love, understanding and peace. What else could cross every international cultural and language border and mean more?”

Wallace and Dahlgren will perform the song live at a special reception that precedes the tree lighting ceremony at U.S. Forest Service headquarters.

Californians can see Wallace and Dahlgren perform “Peace, Peace Peace” on Nov. 5 at the Four County Celebration at the Motherlode Fairgrounds in Sonora.

The celebration, which is expected to draw as many as 10,000 participants from Lake Tahoe to San Francisco, will be the first and only place that members of the public can see the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree before it is boxed up and prepared for its 4,000-mile journey from Sonora to Washington, D.C.

The tree is expected to arrive at the fairgrounds in midafternoon. Celebration participants will have a chance to sign a banner wishing everyone in the United States a Merry Christmas. The celebration will feature holiday themed arts and crafts activities; live Cajun, bluegrass, and folk music; wine tasting; food; and more than 60 booths that showcase the food, produce, businesses, activities and hospitality of Alpine, Calaveras, Tuolumne and Mariposa counties.

Click here for more information about the nation’s Christmas tree and related events.

— Maria Benech is the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree coordinator for the Stanislaus National Forest.


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