Wednesday, April 23rd, 2014

Barber of Seville meets Barbershop

(Posted May 13, 2010)

London’s Brian Banion and Elise DesChamps will lend their musical talents to a fund-raiser for St. Patrick School, where their daughter Viviane is a student.

London’s Brian Banion and Elise DesChamps have each graced the stage of the Ohio Theatre a number of times in their careers as professional opera singers.  

They wanted to do something not only closer to home, but something that would benefit the person closest to their hearts, their daughter Viviane.  

Banion and DesChamps will be just two of the talented musicians who will be part of a fund-raising concert for London’s St. Patrick School, where Viviane is in the second grade. The concert, “From Broad-way to Opera,” will take place at 7 p.m. May 18 in the St. Patrick Church Parish Center. While admission is free, a freewill offering will be taken with all proceeds going to St. Patrick School.  

“Elise and I have been wanting to organize, for some time now, an event in London which would not only be something to benefit the area culturally, but also perhaps raise some money to benefit our second grade daughter Viviane‚s school," said Banion, a graduate of Madison-Plains High School.  

In a musical style far removed from opera, the show also will include the Music Men of London Barbershop Quartet. This long-standing crowd favorite will lend their harmonies to help the school, as well. Quartet lead singer Jeff Gates and his wife, Maggie, are proud to have their two sons, Aaron and Reid, attend St. Patrick School.  

“So many parents who have kids at St. Patrick willingly give of their time in so many capacities,” Gates said. “It will be a very unique opportunity for this community to hear barbershop and opera in the same show.”  

Banion and DesChamps are voice teachers at Capital University, so some of their students will perform as well.  

Current Capital University voice majors and London residents Hannah Minner and Tracey Sweigart will perform. Among the others who will be participating are singers April Bennett and Lindsey Goodman, as well as pianist Kenneth Griffith.  

This is a way for Banion, DesChamps, Gates and others to say “thank you” to the school that has provided their children with a well-rounded education—and it starts with the administration, they said. 

“St. Patrick Principal, Dr. Jacob Froning, finds the arts to be extremely important to the school and the com-munity," Banion said.  

For details, call (740) 852-0161.

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