When 17-year-old Courtney Heaton suddenly lost her boyfriend to a tragic car accident in August, it was not long before her thoughts turned to Christmas.
It was just weeks after Year 12 student James Argo lost control of his vehicle and hit a tree at Burbank – Courtney was struggling to deal with the pain of losing her high school sweetheart.
She turned to her love of song-writing and music … and penned the original lyrics for Not Christmas Without You, which she will perform live in public for the first time for up to 15,000 people at the FREE Christmas by Starlight community concert at Cleveland on Saturday night.
“I will perform it exclusively for James’ family before then,” said the recent Faith Lutheran College graduate. “We are so close and they are such a supportive family. The song has a lot of lovely words about wanting someone ‘home’ for Christmas and although it’s a happy tune, the words are meaningful.”
Having just finished Year 12, Courtney is working two jobs and spends her “spare” time getting her band’s profile into the market. The four-person band, as yet unnamed, will soon record an EP after enjoying success in ranking No. 39 on the Triple J Unearthed pop charts with Whatever It Takes, which was released in June.
“I uploaded it late in the competition so we could have ranked a bit higher, but I was pretty pleased with the result,” said Courtney. “We are now looking for gigs and we really enjoy entertaining.”
This will be Courtney’s second consecutive appearance at Christmas by Starlight, a FREE annual evening of festive fun for families.
Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said the event would be open-air but would go ahead rain or shine … although the official forecast for Saturday is for clear skies.
Gates for the event open at 3pm Saturday (7 December) at Norm Price Park – Redland Showgrounds with children’s activities, stage and roving performers, food, display and merchandise stalls as well as a visit from Santa. The children’s concert Christmas at Bunyip Creek starts at 5.30pm, followed by the concert and Carols at 6pm featuring a cavalcade of home-grown talent including Courtney and headline act Connor Crawford, of Jersey Boys fame. The night climaxes with a spectacular fireworks finale around 8pm.
“Christmas is a very special time of year for families so we are making sure we have something for everyone,” said Cr Williams. “Christmas by Starlight is a great way to get into the festive spirit and a great community event … and this year will be one to remember.”
Christmas by Starlight is presented by Redland City Council, with the generous support of Energex, Bayside Bulletin, JJ Richards, Viking Rentals, Fiteni Homes, Stradbroke Flyer, SS Signs, Mr Fireworks, Koala Graphix and Christmas Festivities.
Christmas by Starlight
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Norm Price Park – Redland Showgrounds
Long Street, Cleveland
3pm – Gates open for children’s activities, food, display and merchandise stalls, roving entertainment and, Santa!
5.30pm – Christmas at Bunyip Creek children’s concert
6pm – Main concert, including traditional Christmas Carols
About 8pm – 10-minute fireworks display