WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — For the past eight years, world-famous author and Palm Beach resident James Patterson and his wife have paid for the Dreyfoos School of the Arts to hold its annual holiday performance at the Kravis Center in West Palm Beach.
The idea for the venue change originated after Patterson and his wife attended the concert at the high school’s theater in 2010.
“We were just so blown away by it and we were like wouldn’t it be cool if we could have it at the Kravis,” said Patterson.
Patterson says every year the more than 2,000 seat concert hall sells out within 20 minutes.
“You’ll have people come up with tears in their eyes saying, ‘oh this is so special,’” said Patterson.
You wouldn’t know it just by listening that the performers are between the ages of 14 and 18.
“They should be applauded for all their hard work, aside from all the academics that they continue to work hard with,” said parent Olga Ferber.
You can see the parents who attend bursting with pride at their child’s dedicated to the arts.
“She’s never played at an event this big so we are very excited,” said parent Angela Pagano.
Before Wednesday night’s concert started Patterson told the crowd when he meets with students he always tells them passion is the absolute best reason to choose what you want to do in life. And although most of these kids will go on to pursue careers outside of music, he is confident they will always take their love for the arts with them.
“We are proud parents, we hear her sing every day, every night,” said parent Eric Ferber.
Patterson says he plans to continue funding the annual show for years to come. He says he may even talk the school into hosting multiple performances instead of the regularly scheduled single show.