Drummer of Gym Class Heroes Donated This Year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The 80-foot-tall Norway Spruce that stands in New York City originally hailed from the rocker's home in upstate New York

<p>Ethan Miller/Getty; Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty</p> Matt McGinley of Gym Class Heroes and the 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Ethan Miller/Getty; Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty

Matt McGinley of Gym Class Heroes and the 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

It’s the “most wonderful time of the year,” and New Yorkers have a member of Gym Class Heroes to thank for getting the city into the holiday spirit.

This year’s Rockefeller Center Christmas tree was donated by none other than the drummer of the alternative hip-hop group, Matt McGinley, as reported by The Finger Lake Times. The 80-foot-tall tree was revealed to have come from the rocker’s property on Monday, several weeks after Rockefeller Center shared a first-look at the Norway Spruce on Nov. 1.

Several weeks ago when the McGinley family’s tree was cut down and brought from their yard in Vestal, New York to the Big Apple, the drummer/composer, 40, shared footage of the process on Instagram. The clip, which is soundtracked by the rock band The Darkness’ heavy holiday song “Christmas Time,” features sweet shots of his family smiling and safely chipping in as they watched the towering spruce slowly come down.

<p>Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty</p> The 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

Angela Weiss/AFP via Getty

The 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas tree

Related: The 2023 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Has Been Selected — See the Photos!

The musician’s wife, professor Jackie McGinley, opened up about how surprised she was that the tree off their lawn outside of Binghamton, New York ended up being part of the iconic annual tradition in Rockefeller Center Plaza.

“The whole process [of selection] is incredibly secretive,” she told The Finger Lake Times. “Because of that, we didn’t know our tree was selected. We thought maybe it was on a short list.”

It caught the head gardener of Rockefeller Center Erik Pauze’s eye, though. Pauze previously explained to The Center Magazine that he spends a year looking for the perfect evergreen and the McGinley’s grabbed his attention when he drove by while scouting other trees in their area.

He told the outlet, “I found the tree in Vestal, New York, when I was on my way to look at another tree, not too far away. I had driven to the other tree and took a slow road back, and saw this one.”

“I went back this spring and decided to knock,” he continued. “The McGinley family told me that not too long before I knocked on the door, someone told them, ‘That looks like a Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree.’”

<p>Rockefeller Center/ Twitter</p> The McGinley family tree before it relocated to Rockefeller Center

Rockefeller Center/ Twitter

The McGinley family tree before it relocated to Rockefeller Center

Related: A Photographic History of the Rockefeller Christmas Tree

McGinley’s tree was donated after the “Stereo Hearts” band had a big year. Not only did the rap-rock group perform at the nostalgic When We Were Young pop-punk music festival in Las Vegas in the fall, they set out on a massive reunion tour in support of All Time Low throughout spring and summer.

When Rockefeller Center shared a first-look at their pick for the 2023 holiday season on social media in early November, they revealed the tree is a Norway Spruce, standing at 80-feet-tall and weighing in at about 12 tons. It arrived in the midtown Manhattan plaza on Nov. 11 and was officially lit up to usher in Christmastime in the city on Nov. 29.

According to Rockefeller Center, the tree is decked out with 50,000 multicolored lights that are strung across nearly 5 miles of wire and it’s topped with a 900-pound star featuring 70 spikes covered in 3 million Swarovski crystals.

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Related: Demi Lovato Shares the Festive Trailer for 'A Very Demi Holiday Special' Featuring JoJo, Paris Hilton and More

A handful of stars rocked around the Christmas tree at NBC’s 91st annual lighting ceremony, which was held on Nov. 29 and is now streaming on Peacock after being broadcast on the network.

This year’s holiday tradition was hosted by Kelly Clarkson, and featured appearances by TODAY anchors Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Craig Melvin and Al Roker.

Clarkson pulled double duty by also performing, along with several other artists including Chloe Bailey, Adam Blackstone, Cher, David Foster, Liz Gillies, Darlene Love, Seth MacFarlane, Barry Manilow, Katharine McPhee, Keke Palmer, Carly Pearce, Manuel Turizo and more.

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