“I’ve lived and traveled abroad due to my military career and what I’ve treasured most here in the Miami Valley has been our support for the arts,” LaRock said. “Having our Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Dayton Ballet right in the heart of downtown Dayton helps bring people of many different faiths, ethnicities and (perspectives) together for the common goal of being entertained by some of Dayton’s best musicians, vocalist and dancers. Shows like “Hometown Holiday’ are the heart of Dayton because they utilize what Dayton has to offer — local talent! I know because I am certainly grateful to be one of those artists to be blessed by the (DPO’s) invitation throughout the year.”
The DPO “Hometown Holiday” SuperPops concert is set for Dec. 7 and 8 at the Schuster Center. CONTRIBUTED
In particular, LaRock will perform Rodgers and Hart’s tender ballad “Little Girl Blue,” originally heard in the 1935 musical “Jumbo” and memorably recorded by Nina Simone in 1958, and Chris Tomlin’s passionate, inspirational “Noel.”
“I’m excited to sing these songs because I wish to put a smile on someone’s face and hopefully help heal a broken heart if need be,” LaRock said.
“Felita has a rare and natural gift to connect with her audiences,” Reynolds added. “Her performances bring that perfect combination of artistry and sincerity, a genuineness that reaches the audience on almost a personal level. I admire this very much.”
The concert also features the Holiday Pops Community Chorus which comprises members of Epiphany Lutheran Church, Kirkmont Presbyterian Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church, Dayton Celebration Chorus, St. Luke’s Catholic Church, Normandy United Methodist Church, Grace United Methodist Church, and Peace Lutheran Church. The Sinclair Community College Concert Handbell Choir will also appear to offer holiday favorites.
“My hope for this year’s audience is for a joyful experience,” Reynolds said. “A joy of music, a joyful celebration of our community and, most of all, a joyfulness of the season.”
WANT TO GO?
What: "Hometown Holiday"
When: 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 7 and Saturday, Dec. 8
Where: Schuster Center, Second and Main Streets, Dayton
Tickets: Call Ticket Center Stage at (937) 228-3630 or visit ticketcenerstage.com