One moment in time


Dayton Philharmonic pays tribute to the music of Whitney Houston

By Tim Walker

Photo: ‘Windbourne Presents the Music of Whitney Houston’ brings the singer’s music to the Schuster, Saturday, Feb. 11

“Hang on just a second,” Rashidra Scott says with a laugh as she walks through Manhattan, the bustle of the big city streets clearly audible through the phone speaker. “I’m going to take you along with me while I run my errands, OK?”

Leaving New York for a few days, Scott will soon be traveling to the Midwest to appear with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, the Windborne Rock Ensemble, and guest conductor Brent Havens at the Schuster Center downtown in the musical event Windborne Presents the Music of Whitney Houston.

“This will be my first trip to Ohio,” Scott says. “And I’m very excited to be performing in Dayton. The music of Whitney… well, she was one of my earliest inspirations, and there are just so many songs of hers that I love, I can’t even choose a favorite. Although I will admit that “The Greatest Love of All” has a certain special meaning. Before I sing that one, I like to talk to the audience about it and about how much it means to me.”

A talented and in-demand performer, Scott doesn’t sit still much, and today is no exception. She is currently appearing in eight performances each week of Beautiful: The Carole King Musical on Broadway at the Stephen Sondheim Theatre, singing Carole King/Gerry Goffin hits like “One Fine Day” and “Up On the Roof.” With two Saturday and two Sunday performances on her weekly schedule, spare time is precious, and squeezing in a few minutes for an interview has proved to be a bit of a challenge.

“It’s great. It’s just a fun night of remembering Whitney,” Scott says when asked about the upcoming Dayton performance. “And our favorite times with her, and our favorite songs with her, and just getting up and dancing and having fun, the fun memories of Whitney. I feel like, especially now that she’s gone… Toward the end of her life, we all got so caught up in all of the drama, and the torments and everything in her life. That tended to overshadow the music, and her voice, and the ‘feel goods’ that her songs brought us. So it’s just going back to that.”

Berklee-trained arranger/conductor Brent Havens will serve as guest conductor of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra for the evening’s performance. He has written music for orchestras, feature films, and virtually every kind of television. In addition to working with some of the world’s greatest orchestras, including the Royal Philharmonic in London and the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Havens recently completed the score for the film “Quo Vadis,” a Premier Pictures remake of the 1956 gladiator film. His enthusiasm is obvious when he’s asked about the upcoming show.

“This particular show,” he says, “is very rich with the orchestra, because it’s Whitney Houston…those gorgeous ballads, and even the up- tempo tunes are a lot of fun. But there’s so much richness in her music, the orchestra lends itself really well to it.”

When asked what it was like working with Scott, he says, “She can really nail this stuff.” He continues, “And she’s so easygoing onstage. People come in and they say to themselves, ‘This is really difficult material to sing,’ but she just nails it. It’s really great. You know, we were surprised to find her, and I’m thankful that we did, because she can actually hit the parts, so it’s just great.”

Dayton Freight sponsors the Windborne Legends of Music Series, and over the past several years, Windborne Music, along with the Dayton Philharmonic, has brought a number of amazing shows to the Schuster Center. Evenings dedicated to the music of The Who, Michael Jackson, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and The Doors have proved to be immensely popular with local audiences, and the music of Whitney Houston performance promises to be no exception.

“There are just so many great songs,” Scott says when asked if she has a favorite Houston song. “I just can’t tell you how wonderful this show is, and I just can’t pick a favorite one. I’m really hoping that Dayton will be the first show where I can get through ‘One Moment in Time’ without crying.”

Windborne Presents The Music of Whitney Houston will be performed Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St. in downtown Dayton. The show starts at 8 p.m. Tickets range from $29-$81. For more information or tickets, please visit


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Tim Walker is 51 and a writer, DJ, and local musician. He lives with his wife and their two children in Dayton, where he enjoys pizza, jazz, and black T-shirts. Reach DCP freelance writer Tim Walker at

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