state house christmas tree

John Bender / RIPR

Elementary, middle and high school students from across Rhode Island are storming the State House this month to perform music for the holiday season.

The holiday concerts are part of a series put on by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, with up to three or four schools singing in a row, in the Statehouse Rotunda.

Rhode Island Public Radio’s John Bender caught a few of those concerts and has this audio postcard.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, we'd like to hear from you.

Governor Lincoln Chafee is responding to critics regarding the hot-button holiday tree controversy at the State House.

In a statement, the governor starts by saying, "In 2011, my first year celebrating December in the State House I gave a simple six word instruction to the planners of the annual tree lighting: 'Do what they did last year.' ”

Chafee was criticized in the past for describing the Statehouse Christmas tree as a "holiday tree."

Once again, the holidays in Rhode Island are greeted by pitched battles over the public symbols of Christmas. RIPR political analyst wonders why we all can’t embrace the true meaning of this season.

For a clue as to why little of consequence gets done at the State House, we bring you to the annual capitol kerfuffle over the lighting of  the soaring evergreen tree that marks the arrival of the Christian Advent celebration.