Loading Events Dec 19-20: Drive-In: A Big Band Christmas | Center for the Arts, Escondido

Drive-In: A Big Band Christmas

Buy Tickets

Presented by the California Center for the Arts, Escondido. Hosted by Cal State San Marcos, in partnership with Show Imaging

Starting at $25/car*

* Fees will be assessed on phone and online orders. Learn more...


Join us on December 19th & 20th for two unforgettable nights of Holiday cheer, right in time for Christmas! This magical evening features a stellar cast of vocalists and a live 10 piece band with The D. Ben-jamin’ Horns. Stay safe and cozy in your car as they bring you all of your Holiday favorites from “Silent Night” to “Let It Snow”, and who knows… it just might!

You’ll hear songs like “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”, “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” and “Little Drummer Boy” plus many many more! You don’t want to miss these exciting new Big Band arrangements of Christmas classics by the incredible Duane Benjamin (The Best of Motown). This swinging jazz-filled theatrical event is fun for the whole family, complete with the “Man with the Bag” himself!

About the BIG BAND cast:


TERRON BROOKS is an accomplished singer/songwriter /actor/author/motivational speaker who has a passion for sharing his gift of music with the world. Born and raised in Southern California, Mr. Brooks has had the pleasure of performing with many amazing artists as Stevie Wonder, Josh Groban, David Foster, Smokey Robinson. He has toured with Phil Collins (Going Back Tour) and Matthew Morrison from GLEE. (Opening Act for The New Kids on the Block/Backstreet Boys Tour) His vocals are featured on six songs from Smokey Robinson’s duets record, Smokey and Friends. Terron is a Broadway performer who has been seen as “Simba” in Disney’s The Lion King and “Seaweed” in Hairspray.  He is an Ovation Award nominee for Best Featured Actor in a Musical for “Daddy Brubeck” in Sweet Charity at Reprise 2.0. As a guest artist for the Atlanta, Colorado, and Taiwan Symphony Orchestras, Terron has sung the classic songs of Disney. Mr. Brooks last starred as Coalhouse Walker Jr. in Ragtime at Musical Theatre West. Terron is a two-time NAACP Award nominee for supporting actor and is best remembered for his critically acclaimed portrayal of Eddie Kendricks in the Emmy Award winning NBC mini-series The Temptations. The Los Angeles Times has described his voice as “smooth and soulful.” He is the star and co-creator of the new show The Soul of Broadway: Impossible Dreams and his new record is on all digital platforms. www.terronbrooksmusic.com www.thesoulofbroadway.com


MEL COLLINS is a chanteuse, a songstress, a star in the mold of yesteryear’s greats. She was last seen in our Motown @ the Drive-In show back in August. Based in Los Angeles, Mel Collins has performed all over the world, bringing the joy of her unique song stylings to thousands upon thousands of people. Whether it’s crooning a jazz standard or belting a pop hit, Mel consistently brings audiences to their feet. She’s warm and funny and her joy is contagious. Let Mel Collins take you away, be it with her versatile ensemble, Standard Mel or the swinging’ big sounds of the D. Ben-jamin Big Band – wherever she’s going, you’ll want to go too.


LAURA DICKINSON – Four-time Grammy® and three-time Emmy® winning music producer and contractor Laura Dickinson is best known for her extensive work for Disney on eleven animated Disney Channel hits, including Phineas and Ferb and Sofia the First, both Frozen films, The Little Mermaid Live, Phineas and Ferb: Candace Against The Universe, Ralph Breaks the Internet, Lady and the Tramp (2019) and Mulan (2020). Her principal vocal work on Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross’ “The Way It Used to Be” featured in Watchmen (HBO) was nominated for a 2020 Emmy® and received critical acclaim.  Laura has served on the ASMAC.org (American Society of Music Arrangers and Composers) Board of Directors for over a year and is passionate about the #GiveCredit and #StopHateForProfit initiatives.  Other selected music clients include Michael Bublé, Dolly Parton, Englebert Humperdinck, and Willie Nelson. Upcoming projects include Christmas on the Square with Dolly Parton for Netflix, Marvel’s WandaVision for Disney+, and walking her three-year old maltipoo, Luna.  www.MusicContractor.com www.imdb.me/lauradickinson


JIM GRAFT, a proud member of Actors Equity Association, returns to San Diego for the first time since he performed the roles of Che in Evita and Billy Crocker in Anything Goes at Moonlight Amphitheatre in Vista. Since then, he has performed in musical theatre productions throughout the US and internationally. Other credits include Eric in Phantom, Will in Will Rogers Follies, Cornelius in Hello Dolly!, John Jaspar in The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Rooster in Annie, Master of Ceremonies in Cabaret, the Governor in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas and Hajj in Kismet. Today he returns to his other passion… harmony! He is currently and for 12 years a member of the The Dapper Dans of Disneyland where he hopes to return very soon as their bass. He is thrilled to be reuniting with his friends Meloney Collins, Laura Dickinson and Terron Brooks who all performed together in the “popapella” group Groove 66 at Disney’s California Adventure. He is so proud and grateful to the California Center for the Arts for finding a way to keep theatre and live performance alive during this challenging time for all of us!




JEFFREY SCOTT PARSONS is a musical theatre actor, director, and choreographer. Pre-COVID credits include Mike in A Chorus Line (Welk Resort), Ted Hanover in Holiday Inn (Musical Theatre West), Riff in West Side Story (Performance Riverside), and Bobby Child in Crazy For You (San Diego Musical Theatre). For his performance as the Emcee in Cabaret (Welk Resort), he was nominated by the San Diego Critics Circle as Best Leading Performance in a Musical. His one man show COMFY has been seen around the country and was gifted the Billy Barnes Award for Best Cabaret Performance. As a choreographer, he was recognized this year by the LA Stage Alliance with a Best Choreography Ovation nomination for Dames At Sea (Sierra Madre Playhouse). He’s the host of “A Musical Theatre Podcast” which can be heard on all podcast platforms and is a proud member of Musical Theatre Guild and Actors Equity. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram @jeffreysparsons


CASSIE SILVA is beyond thrilled to be part of A Big Band Christmas. Cassie is an LA native with over two decades of success in the entertainment business. Credits span from commercials to TV, films to Broadway and even a Super Bowl appearance. Cassie starred in Broadway’s Rock of Ages and Matilda, transferring her role of Mrs. Wormwood for the launch of the national tour. Films include Hairspray, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story and Todrick Hall’s Straight Outta Oz. TV appearances include starring roles in two Nickelodeon series, as well as, Dexter and Legally Blonde: The Search for Elle Woods. Cassie’s numerous national commercials and campaigns include American Horror Story, McDonalds and Coca Cola. Cassie loves to share her knowledge and foster young professional artists! In addition to her career as a performer she also directs, produces, choreographs and mentors. Check out her podcast, The BE Way, about the Broadway lifestyle created and hosted with Fit for Broadway, her new tap show, Musical Feet with Jeffrey Scott Parsons and upcoming web series, The Wayward Guide for the Untrained Eye airing on YouTube and its parallel podcast on Apple Podcasts and Spotify now. Cassie truly believes you can have, be and do anything you set your mind to. Follow Cassie’s daily adventures @CassieMSilva and her performing arts studio in Westlake, CA @StudioCollectivePA. Wishing you a safe and festive Holiday Season!


DUANE BENJAMIN (Music Director/Conductor) – is an accomplished Musician, Orchestrator and Arranger. For over 30 years he has made a successful living playing trombone, electric bass, and arranging “clean, easy to read charts” for industry legends and everyday musicians alike. His orchestrations were featured regularly on FOX Television’s American Idol and various musical theater plays in the LA area! He has also arranged and orchestrated for NBC’s The Singing Bee as well as The Voice. On BETS Gospel Celebration he has orchestrated for artists like Keyshia Cole, Jill Scott, Maxwell, Alexander Hamilton, and legendary soul singer Al Green. He has performed and recorded with jazz greats like the Count Basie Orchestra,  Stanley Clark, The Gerald Wilson Orchestra and The Clayton Hamilton Orchestra, not to mention contemporary legends like BTS, Justin Timberlake, Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Earth Wind & Fire, Jamiroquai, Gladys Knight, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Four Tops, rock guitarist Steve Vai, Kirk Franklin and many more.


What your ticket purchase means to us

As the non-profit community & cultural heartbeat of North County San Diego, we depend on the generosity of arts-lovers like you to keep our organization vibrant and thriving.  Our members and patrons know that art & artists have the tools, talents, and gifts to heal our hearts and revive our community, even in the most difficult of times.  With your ticket purchase, you will join us in ensuring the cultural and artistic longevity of our beloved home community.


Thanks To Our Generous Sponsors












Buy Tickets

For Event Information and Frequently Asked Questions Click Here.


Your ticket purchase funds the arts in our community

A portion of every ticket purchased goes to support Cal State San Marcos School of Arts an inclusive, collaborative community where artists, scholars, and students actively engage in developing artistic practices, critical thinking, cultural intelligence, and creativity.


Your ticket purchase supports our community

With your ticket purchase, you’ll help us raise up to $5,000 for the following organizations:

Escondido Community Foundation

Central San Diego Black Chamber of Commerce


Buy tickets online (below), or at the Center ticket office, or by calling 800.988.4253. The ticket office is open Tue. – Sat. 12–6 PM, and Sun. 12–5 PM.

Back to the previous page

Share This Event: