A cappella group Voctave returns to Dayton with new Christmas show



Christmas music and a cappella groups go together like hot chocolate and marshmallows. This delightful sonic combination has been a winning formula for Voctave, the 11-member vocal group presenting a U1 Credit Union Music Series holiday program at Victoria Theatre in Dayton on Thursday, Dec. 7.

Voctave’s latest album, “It Feels Like Christmas,” was released in October. Other holiday releases include “Symphony Series: Christmas Edition” (2019), “Snow” (2017) and the group’s debut, “Spirit of the Season” (2016), which reached No. 6 on the Billboard charts.

“We’re so excited for these upcoming Christmas shows,” said producer-arranger Jamey Ray. “Half of our show will be our new album, ‘It Feels Like Christmas.’ We can’t wait to get out on the road with new music. The very first concert Voctave ever had was a Christmas concert. Our first album was a Christmas album. We stuck with a lot of those Christmas songs because they’re what helped define us as a group. It has been hard to get away from some of them, so we have a few old songs in our set, but for the most part it’s a pretty new show.”

The members of Voctave had never performed any of the songs together live before recording them for “It Feels Like Christmas.”

“There’s so much great Christmas music that we could record another dozen albums and not run out of material,” Ray said. “We just have to decide when we want to introduce new songs and we were definitely ready. Within the first two years, we had two Christmas albums. We hit pause for a second and now it’s time for some more Christmas music. Not too far from now we’ll want some more, and I certainly won’t struggle to find songs for this group because most Christmas songs work well with this group.”



A return engagement

Voctave, which Ray formed in 2015, made its first Ohio appearance at Victoria Theatre last December.

“That was a great show,” Ray said. “It was nice because we have a couple of members with family in that area and at least one of them had a lot of family there. Hopefully people will want to come back knowing a lot of the material is brand new. It’s new to us too. We’re going to be performing it for the first time on this tour so we’re a little anxious but definitely excited.

“The group’s sound is something everyone can get on board with at Christmas time,” Ray continued. “It may not be everyone’s bag throughout the year but if you want to hear live Christmas music, this is the way to hear it so buy a ticket. I’m hopeful all the people that heard it before feel the same way and they’ll come back again. We look forward to Christmas because it’s fun to sing all of this music. There’s a fun energy to the show because we have a lot of ups and downs. This show will take you on a ride for sure.”



An organic evolution

Ray stresses this Christmas concert is a stage production and not just 11 singers standing in front of an audience.

“A lot of people don’t realize that when you come to see Voctave, you’re going to see a show,” he said. “It’s definitely a full show you’ll get to experience. That’s not something I ever really pictured happening. At most, I thought we’d just be in the studio singing songs that I’d write or arrangements I’d come up with.

“The fact it has turned into a pretty regularly traveling group is amazing,” Ray continued. “We’re out and about doing concerts all the time and we’ve put out album after album. Every now and then we put out a video that kind of goes, I guess, viral. We’ve got a couple of them right now, which is kind of cool. I never thought any of those things would happen. We didn’t set out with a plan so everything that has happened for us has been organic.”

Voctave is now creating a new holiday tradition with its annual touring Christmas program.

“It’s been enjoyable to watch people really get invested in this group and get excited about the concerts,” Ray said. “They tell us stories of how the group has changed their lives. It’s very humbling (and) incredible to hear. It’s definitely interesting to look back at that very first concert we ever had, that first Christmas show, and the way the show has developed. We’re certainly in our infancy with this group, but we’re really pleased and proud at how far we’ve come in the amount of time we have. Hopefully this is still just the beginning.”

Contact this contributing writer at 937-287-6139 or donthrasher100@gmail.com.


What: Dayton Live’s U1 Credit Union Music Series holiday concert with Voctave

Where: Victoria Theatre, 138 N. Main St., Dayton

When: 8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7

Cost: $35-$65

More info: 937-228-3630 or www.daytonlive.org

Artist info: voctave.net

About the Author