Put a little pop in your party

Dayton Philharmonic’s Hometown Holiday concert in Dayton and Troy

By CC Hutten

Photo: Sister duo Adelee and Gentry will perform with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra during the Hometown Holidays concert, Dec. 5 and 6 in Downtown Dayton, and Dec. 7 in Troy

This winter, let the phrase “home for the holidays” take on a whole new meaning in Dayton.

The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will perform a Hometown Holidays concert in its own backyard – the Mead Theatre of the Shuster Center, as well as at Troy’s Hobart Arena, alongside community choirs and local indie pop-rock duo, Adelee and Gentry.

“The holidays are traditional,” Artistic Director and Conductor Neal Gittleman said. “It’s about giving [the audience] what they expect and love about the holidays.”

The community will hear traditional, sacred and pop music, mixed with “spritely, new sounds.” Gittleman said the current, ongoing plan for “Hometown Holidays” is it can be expected every other year, with off years that feature celebrity performances.

Hometown Holidays is a community concert broken into two parts and, usually, for two evenings – but what’s new this year is a third matinée performance at Hobart Arena in Troy, sponsored by Stillwater Technologies, Inc.

Gittleman said the concert will begin with Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance of select scores from “The Nutcracker,” both from Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s original version, and Duke Ellington and Dayton native Billy Strayhorn’s reinterpretation. This will be followed by holiday classics of Kettering Children’s Choir. Then, to close the first half, the duo of sisters Adelee and Gentry Gates from Alexandria, Ohio, and their band will perform together with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra.

The sisters’ indie pop-rock spins on “Carol of the Bells,” “Jingle Bells” and “Angels We Have Heard on High,” as well as some Adelee and Gentry originals are highlights they will perform from their 2012 Holiday EP, Waiting For Christmas.

“There are two different ways of approaching music,” Gittleman said. “There’s people who learn by ear, and people whose main focus is printed music. And there are some who do both. I’m pretty much a printed page person – conductors usually are. [Adelee and Gentry] play by memory, by ear, and it’s interesting to put those different ways of working together. Each way of making music has its own strengths and characteristics, and we try to take the best of them.”

Adelee and Gentry Gates, 21 and 19 respectively, were heavily influenced by music through their family as children. Now that influence has manifested into a talent and passion in their two 2012 albums, Nice to Meet You… and Waiting For Christmas, as well as an acoustic duo college tour that will come to an end in the next few months.

“We started a college tour last fall and have been doing it about a year now,” Adelee said. “From Florida to Connecticut, all the way Oregon, and we’ve got some shows in California left and [then we] will … finally have covered all four corners of the states.”

Gentry said their musical influences are the indie-pop, underground sounds of musicians like Imagine Dragons, Ingrid Michealson and Coldplay.

“It’s not pop-rock like Rihanna or Katy Perry,” Gentry Gates said. “Ours is more of a full-band sound with indie style. We give it a singer-songwriter feel.”

As far as the duo’s Hometown Holidays performance with the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, Adelee Gates said, “It’s definitely going to be unique.” This is because they will have their full band playing alongside the horns and strings of the Dayton Philharmonic.

Both sisters agreed their songs are not in the style of traditional Christmas songs, but the synthesis of the band and orchestra will be very successful.

“The Dayton Philharmonic crowd will love the classical,” Adelee said. “They will already be fans of its recreation of music. On our side, we have a lot of diversity … [audiences] will enjoy the artistic combination.”

“We’re all using the same seven notes on the scale,” Gittleman said. “What we don’t necessarily have in common is the way to describe the music, but we can always find a way to do that. We each bring our own thing and bring it together.”

The second half of Hometown Holidays is an amalgamation of community choirs all over the Dayton area, manifested in Holiday Pops Community Chorus, followed by Sinclair Community College Concert Handbell Choir.

Gittleman said even though the overall sound is a pop concert, Hometown Holidays features 90 percent church choirs – so, of course, there will be some sacred music to accompany pop approaches to holiday music.

“[It] gives [church musicians] an opportunity to play their music, especially with the orchestra,” Gittleman said. “They’re wonderful musicians, but almost never have the opportunity to sing with a symphony orchestra. There’s nothing like it.”

The singers from regional choruses and choirs include: Dayton Celebration Chorus, Epiphany Lutheran Church, Kettering Children’s Choir, Kirkmont Presbyterian Church, New Apostolic Church, Normandy United Methodist Church, St. John’s Lutheran Church, St. Luke’s Catholic Church, St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church, Tabernacle Baptist Church, Trinity Lutheran Church and Washington Heights Baptist Church.

Dayton’s strong community ties to the performances is what makes being home for the holidays a genuine experience.

“There’s a little bit of community pride element, also. We don’t need someone from outside of Dayton,” Gittleman said. “And there’s something kind of nice about that. It’s about celebrating your community and people you live with.”

The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will perform Hometown Holidays at 8 p.m. at the Schuster Center, 1 W. Second Street, on Friday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6. Admission ranges from $14 to $62 for patrons of all ages and tickets are available by calling 937.228.3630 or visiting daytonperformingarts.org. Senior, teacher and student discounts are available at the box office. The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will feature a matinée performance at 3 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 7, at Hobart Arena, 255 Adams St. in Troy. For tickets and more information, please call 937.339.2911 or visit hobartarena.com.


Reach DCP freelance writer CC Hutten at CCHutten@DaytonCityPaper.com.


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Reach DCP freelance writer CC Hutten at ContactUs@DaytonCityPaper.com

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