Darke County Center for the Arts’ final presentation of their “Arts Count” season ably demonstrated the rationale behind DCCA’s choice of theme for the just-completed season. Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall abounded with joyous energy last Saturday night as the Toledo Symphony Orchestra gleefully presented “Oh, What a Night,” featuring countless songs that counted deeply to members of the enthusiastic intergenerational audience who reveled in the music so masterfully presented. Conductor Carl Topilow contributed multiple assets to the equation, including vibrant and soulful solos on the clarinet. Vocal soloist Connor Bogart added his sparkling presence to the proceedings, contributing not only his versatile baritone voice but also his emotive ability to send the message of each song directly to the ears and hearts of those in the audience. Memories were evoked, new insights gained, and the power of music to unite people of disparate demographics was mightily demonstrated at this powerful yet fun-filled show. However, all of DCCA’s 2017-2018 presentations counted towards the achievement of a highly successful year for the local arts organization.
Canadian singer/songwriter/guitarist David Myles opened DCCA’s 2017-2018 season at St. Clair Memorial Hall on Saturday, Sept. 9, reaching out to a broad range of music lovers with his multiple abilities. Whether crooning a pop ballad, punching out a jazz ditty, or putting a new spin on an old favorite, David connected with his audience to create a magical, memorable evening. Embracing modern and vintage songs and styles, the bespectacled performer creates and performs timeless music that withstands passing trends to endure and thrive. David and his trio embody the “Arts Count” theme, openly displaying the meaningful impact that music makes in their own lives and sharing that value with their audiences.
DCCA’s Special Event, “One Night In Memphis,” recalling the memorable night when four legendary performers intersected for an impromptu jam session at Sun Studios, rocked Memorial Hall on Saturday, Oct. 7. Music that has stood the test of time delighted a diverse audience, evoking a joyful immediate reaction as well as instilling happy memories not only for those who who were around in December 1956 when Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley actually got together but also for younger music fans who felt they were witnessing rock and roll royalty perform their hits. This tribute to iconic and revolutionary figures celebrates a legacy that remains vibrantly alive, inspiring innovation and wonder yet today.
Vocal ensemble Six Appeal’s moniker not only provided some of the motivation for DCCA’s season theme centering around numbers and math, but also described the effect of their vocal versatility that appealed to music fans of all ages when the six young men took the stage at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall on Saturday, Nov. 4. The a cappella group sings without instrumental accompaniment, but is accompanied by a vast amount of music supplied by the voices of the accomplished singers who make up the ensemble. The audience was amazed at the range and breadth of sound achieved by utilizing that universal musical instrument, the human voice, to create an appealing, harmonious symphony of sound that thrilled and enthralled.
The Queen of Bluegrass drew vast numbers to St. Clair Memorial Hall on Saturday, Jan. 20; a sell-out crowd was treated to the vitality, joy, and exemplary talent of Rhonda Vincent and her band The Rage while experiencing the simple pleasure of hearing pure voices singing sweet melodies and close harmonies as masterly instrumentalists pluck and strum. A gifted storyteller as well as a stellar musician, Rhonda exemplified the traditional values of the music she so skillfully shares and which have contributed to her 20-year reign as Bluegrass royalty.
The artists presented by DCCA this past season could all be counted upon to entertain and delight audiences; DCCA counted on the community it serves to take advantage of the bounteous array of artistry being presented. And DCCA’s “Arts Count” season happily added up to the anticipated result; another year of delight, enrichment, and inspiration, a sum total which can multiply exponentially as it resonates in the lives of all those within its reach.