A shining season glimmers on


By Marilyn Delk


When conductor Alain Traidel and his outstanding musicians left the stage at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall on Saturday, May 11, Darke County Center for the Arts’ 45th Anniversary season of performances came to an end. But the memories left by DCCA’s Sapphire Celebration will shine on in the memory of all who partook of the artistic bounty presented during the past year.

To begin at the ending, the TSO concert dazzled with its beauty and variety. Beginning with Brahms and closing with Tchaikovsky, the program offered something for everyone. A little-known (at least to me) piece by Soviet-Armenian composer Aram Khachaturian, delightful music from Edvard Grieg’s Peer Gynt, selections from Bizet’s Carmen, and songs from Leonard Bernstein’s interpretation of the tale of Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story entertained the audience with a satisfying blend of powerful, lively, sweet, and moving music.

DCCA’s 2023-2024 Artists Series opened on Saturday, October 21 with an outrageous adventure of arts, “ArtRageous,” performed by a troupe of artists, singers, and dancers who live and breathe the arts, creativity, and inspiration. This high energy show combined music, dance, and the visual arts in a show culminating in a gallery of finished paintings; this unique performance captivated its audience with its engaging, energizing fun while producing art that still hangs in several community spaces.

Comedian Rex Havens brought his impressively funny gentle humor to the St. Clair Memorial Hall stage on Saturday, November 11, and a good time was had by all. As the college professor turned performer shared his hilarious take on men, women, love, and marriage, the auditorium was filled with laughter from the audience who left still savoring the lasting effects of enjoying a rollicking good time.

DCCA’s Special Event on Saturday, February 24 brought Lee Rocker and his giant upright bass to perform at Memorial Hall. The well-known master musician and Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee, most famous as a member of the famed rockabilly band Stray Cats, has lost none of the chops gained during his long career while maintaining a singing voice that captured attention while stirring fond memories and forming pleasant new ones. The show included all of the songs the audience hoped to hear, as well as some stories chronicling his forty-plus memorable years in the music business.

Continuing DCCA’s Artists Series presentations, on Saturday, April 6, Celtic Rock sensation Derina Harvey brought her high energy show to the stage of St. Clair Memorial Hall. Drummer Steve Pinsent, guitarist Scott Greene, bassist Ed Smith, and fiddler Jessica Blenis make up the Derina Harvey band; the group beautifully presented the message of their native Newfoundland/Labrador music, conveying whatever emotion a song contained while making sure amazingharmonies also came through. Known for her powerful vocals and vibrant personality, Derina took center stage in thishigh-energy show of traditional music with a modern kick; the group also enthusiastically tackled modern themes, offering their take on the music of our times.

DCCA’s 2023-2024 season does not officially close until June 30, so Make Music Day remains as the only event to happily anticipate prior to another yet unnamed season of enriching, enlightening, and entertaining programs. DCCA’s 46th season will begin on Friday, July 12 with the highly popular “BBQ and Blues” event which attracts hundreds to the Greenville Public Library Lawn, and continue July 15–20 with the annual return of Missoula Children’s Theatre offering a production of The Pied Piper at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall starring local kindergarten through high school youngsters. As DCCA’s 45th Sapphire Celebration season comes to an end, many glimmering memories remain, lending sparkle to lives long after the performances have ended.

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