Grammy-winner Debby Boone will be headlining the 2013-14 Community Concert Series at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center. She will be presenting her show “Swing This” on October 20. The Community Concert Series will also include performances from handbell ensemble Sonos, the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, and the Voices of Unity choir. (Photo submitted)
BY ED GEBERT
Times Bulletin Editor
VAN WERT - Even before pianist Thomas Pandolfi began his Sunday afternoon concert to wrap up the Community Concert Series for 2012-13, Niswonger Performing Arts Center Executive Director Paul Hoverman was announcing the lineup for the 2013-14 series at a reception for patrons and sponsors of the Van Wert County Community Concert Association. The four-show series will be presented at the NPAC.
Headlining the series is Grammy-winner Debby Boone who will present her show, "Swing This," on Sunday afternoon, Oct. 20. Boone, who held the number one spot on the Billboard Magazine pop charts for 10 weeks back in 1977 with "You Light Up My Life," will be presenting a performance in a different mood. She is the daughter-in-law of the late singer Rosemary Clooney."When Rosemary Clooney passed away, she willed her music and charts to Debby," Hoverman explained. "These charts are what Debby Boone uses in her 'Swing This' shows."
Boone also credits the show as being inspired by her childhood in the "swing culture" of Las Vegas while traveling with her father, Pat Boone, in the 1960s. She will be joined by her musical director and a nine-piece band to recreate the magical mood of that golden age.
The second show is set for Sunday, Dec. 1 with the world-class handbell ensemble, Sonos, from San Francisco, California.
"I thought it would be nice to do a Christmas show with the Community Concert Series this year," said Hoverman. "And what better way than with bells ringing everywhere!"
Sonos is more than just a glorified church handbell choir. The musicianship of the group and the creative arrangements have drawn rave reviews since the group was formed in 1990. Sonos usually tours Japan during the Christmas season, but this year is staying in the United States and will make a stop at the Niswonger Performing Arts Center.
The third presentation in the Community Concert Series is set for Sunday afternoon, March 9 with a group that is no stranger to the NPAC. The Toledo Symphony Orchestra will return, this time to do a special concert of the works of Rodgers and Hammerstein. Joining the TSO will be two local soloists: Mary Ann Falk and Jake Wilder.
The series will wrap up on Saturday night, April 26, 2014, with a requested performance by the Voices of Unity choir from Fort Wayne, Indiana. Voice of Unity last appeared at the NPAC one year ago, backing singer Livingston Taylor. This time the youth choir will be performing their own concert in Van Wert.
The Community Concert Series have been going on in Van Wert for 55 years, most of that time the shows were presented at the Marsh Auditorium. The remainder of the NPAC 2013-14 series, consisting of the Grand Series of concerts and the Lecture Series of special speakers. That schedule is expected to be released in about a month.
Hoverman noted that series tickets for series sponsors or directors are on sale now. Patron tickets will be available on May 9. The general public wishing to buy tickets for the series can do so beginning May 31. Tickets for individual concerts will be available about 90 days before the performance date.