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Musical light show becomes family tradition
Dec 20, 2012 4:00 pm
“I’ve always been fascinated by lights,” said Felica Highers. “We saw a [Christmas light] display in Franklin years and years ago, and I just thought it was really neat that you could make the lights [coincide] with the music.”
Highers and her husband, Sonny Highers, took that fascination and created their own choreographed light display.
“Everybody who comes by is just amazed,” said Sonny Highers. “I don’t think anybody else in Lebanon does what we do.”
The Highers turned their brick ranch home at 705 Castle Heights Ave. into a musical light show that runs from 5-10 p.m. during the week and from 5-11 p.m. on weekends.
White lights adorning the house and lawn flicker in sync with holiday-themed music.
Visitors can watch the lights dance in time with “Silent Night,” “Wizards in Winter” by Trans-Siberian Orchestra, a techno version of “Amazing Grace,” “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland,” “Frosty the Snowman” and “Angels We Have Heard on High.”
“I try to select songs that have stuff going on in them,” said Felica Highers.
In the eight years the Highers have featured their display – six years in Nashville and two years in Lebanon – the couple worked out a division of labor. Sonny strings the lights and puts out the various decorations, and Felica programs the songs into the computer software that runs the specialized controller boxes.
Each strand of light is plugged into a Light-O-Rama light controller box – the Highers have 13 controller boxes, and each controller box has 16 channels on each box.
Stringing the lights and putting out the displays takes about a month, and programming the song sequences takes about 80 hours.
Felica Highers said programming the songs does not require any particular musical or technical skill.
“Somebody with an ear for music probably could do a better job of programming it than I do, but you don’t have to have any special talents,” she said.
Whatever she is doing must be working, though. According to Sonny Highers, the display has proven popular, with people driving by just to see it, and neighbors thanking them for putting on the display.
Anyone who has not seen the display still has time – Sonny Highers said he plans to leave it up through the rest of the year.
The Highers especially hope people will stop by on Sunday.
“Santa will be there on Sunday night, and we would love to have any of the kids that want to come by and have their pictures taken,” said Felica Highers.