Not the same old, same old


As Christmas approaches, holiday music fills the air, bringing to mind the reason for the season and creating a festive mood; but then, the ubiquitous sounds of the season can become repetitive and boring, sometimes even irritating, as yet another remix of a yuletide favorite assaults the ears.

However, when VoicePlay presents their imaginative and unique blend of sounds at Darke County Center for the Arts’ special holiday event at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall on Saturday, December 14, familiar songs will spring to life in all their glory, celebrating the solemnity and joy of the season with a fully orchestrated vocal sound that will inspire wonder and laughter.

For those not already familiar with this a cappella quintet returning to our community due to popular demand, VoicePlay amazingly recreates the sound of an entire musical production using only the human voice. They deftly perform music from many eras, and throw in inventive and sometimes hilarious on-stage theatrics while smoothly moving from one musical style to another, leaving audiences almost breathless from the whirlwind of vigorous variety and magnificent music they are experiencing.

VoicePlay, which originally gained fame as a finalist on season four of NBC’s The Sing-Off and recently was named 2019 A Cappella Music Awards’ “Pop Group of the Year,” consists of Eliezer “Eli” Jacobson, Geoff Castellucci, Layne Stein, J. None, and Earl Elkins, Jr., each member adding his singular contribution to the group. “Eli” is known for his powerful, soulful rock vocals, bass-man Geoff is the manic force behind many of the group’s on-stage antics, and Layne is the mastermind behind the astounding vocal percussion for which VoicePlay is widely admired.

J. None’s smooth, soulistic vocals inspire awe, contributing to his belief that he will continue to change our world through music, while Earl provides the soaring tenor lead for most of VoicePlay’s songs. Each member of this stellar group of well-rounded musicians was also trained to play multiple instruments, a skill which contributes to the ensemble’s astonishing ability to produce a full circle of sound without actually using any of those instruments.

While you will hear the familiar songs you want to hear at DCCA’s holiday concert, you will not be hearing the same old/same old. VoicePlay will be spreading holiday cheer via their a cappella harmony in a stunning manner that must be heard to be believed. Their show will delight audiences of all ages, bringing added musical magic to your holiday celebration. Don’t miss it!

If you need more incentive to attend this holiday delight, our community’s queen of creativity Katie Gabbard will once again be creating intricate handmade one-of-a-kind holiday-themed items, which will be sold for one night only at her Christmas pop-up shop, Merry Maestro!, conveniently located in the spacious lobby at Memorial Hall. The shop will be open from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. prior to the VoicePlay performance, as well as at the show’s intermission and following the concert.

A portion of the Merry Maestro! proceeds will be donated to DCCA, and sales of one of the music-themed items will directly benefit Darke County Endowment for the Arts, the organization, which strives to keep the arts alive forever in our community, and whose funds support local artists, DCCA, and St. Clair Memorial Hall.

Tickets for DCCA’s presentation of VoicePlay cost $30; students’ tickets are half-price. To get yours, contact DCCA at 937-547-0908 or online at

oor prior to the performance, which starts at 8 p.m.

By Marilyn Delk

Contributing Columnist

Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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