Clay Aiken brings his Christmas show to Shippensburg

December 05, 2012|By CRYSTAL SCHELLE |
  • Clay Aiken said its not Christmas for him until he sings in his own Christmas show. Aiken performs Saturday at the Luhrs Center in Shippensburg, Pa.
By Seema Sultanaly

SHIPPENSBURG, Pa. — It was a lovingly maternal push that helped a young Clay Aiken realize that maybe he should share his voice with others.

He’ll be doing just that Saturday night when he makes a stop at the H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania as part of his “Joyful Noise” tour.

As a child, Aiken said he was always singing.

“My mom said I was singing before I was even talking,” he said during a telephone interview from New York City.

But by the time he was in middle school, he didn’t want to participate in choir.

“I didn’t want to sing,” he said. “I really liked singing, but I wanted to do something else in sixth and seventh grade. I wanted to be on the yearbook staff and that was an elective. I didn’t want to waste my elective on choir.”

However, his mother, Faye Parker, knew that her child could sing and needed the right outlet.

“My mom called the choir teacher and said ‘Listen, he won’t do choir and he needs to do it,’” Aiken, 34, said.

So his mother and teacher arranged for Aiken to come in during the mornings before school.

“And from there, I never really stopped singing,” he said.

Was he meant to be a singer even then? Aiken said he’s not sure.

“I don’t know if I was any good back then or not,” he said. “I’ve heard recordings of me as a kid and I think, ‘Oh my god, I’m awful.’ But I still think that sometimes now.”

Those who watched the second season of “American Idol” in 2003 found out during auditions that Aiken, a teacher at the time, clearly had the makings to be a star. Especially when his audition consisted of a that-voice-came-out-of-that-guy of reaction from the judges about Aiken.

Although he came in second to Ruben Studdard, “Idol” launched Aikens’ career, taking him around the world and even to a stop on the Great White Way.

“People kept clapping and I kept working,” he said.

Aiken promises with the “Joyful Noise” tour that “It’s all holiday, all the time,” Aiken said with a laugh.

This is the fifth time Aiken has taken his holiday music on the road, each time, he said, with a different twist. This year, it’ll just be him and an orchestra on stage.

“There’s something about a French horn that makes it seem like Christmas to me,” he said.

For Aiken, the holiday season doesn’t seem to start until he does the Joyful Noise tour.

“For me, this starts the holiday season off,” he said. “... Even if I decorate the house and deck the halls full out, I still don’t feel like it’s the holiday unless I’m doing the show.”

If you go ...       

WHAT: Clay Aiken’s “Joyful Noise” Tour

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8

WHERE: H. Ric Luhrs Performing Arts Center at Shippensburg University, 1871 Old Main Drive, Shippensburg, Pa.

COST: $39 to $57

CONTACT: Call 717-477-7469 or go to

The Herald-Mail Articles