By: Jesse Davis
THE VILLAGE REPORTER
Shredding guitars and Christmas spirit filled the air in the Fayette Opera House Saturday night when it featured northwest Ohio Trans-Siberian Orchestra tribute group Siberian Solstice.
Detroit native and now Defiance resident Garnet McGladdery fronts the group with vocals and lead guitar, backed up by fellow Defiance residents Dave Coonrod and Dave Deal on bass and keyboard, respectively, along with Kevin Peters of Bryan on guitar, Chuck Mauk of Perrysburg on drums, Isaac Cox of Adrian, Michigan, on keyboard, and backing vocals from Mary Jackson, Jennifer Plante, and Tina Mae. The performance also included narration from Jamie Blank.
The group rocked their way through 24 pieces written and popularized by the Florida-based Christmas music powerhouse that became famous for injecting the sounds of heavy metal into holiday fare.
Among the tracks they performed were “Good King Joy,” “What Child is This,” “Christmas Canon Rock,” and “Wish Liszt.”
Roughly 100 attendees showed up to Fayette over the weekend to take in Siberian Solstice’s energetic performance, which included lights and video to bolster the epic sound along with interceding narration from Blank.
“The band actually started in 2007, but I joined in 2015 and that’s when we switched into the big production,” McGladdery said.
According to McGladdery, the group starts rehearsing in October and then performs 15 times between mid-November and Christmas Day. “We do theaters and churches that can accommodate the show,” he said.
McGladdery plays in other groups during the rest of the year, as do many of the musicians in the group.
He said his favorite part of performing the Trans-Siberian Orchestra hits is the atmosphere the attendees bring.
“Just being able to perform and have people actually come to see what you’re doing, enjoy what you’re doing,” McGladdery said. “There’s nothing better than that.”
The Fayette Opera House is operated by the Fayette Community Fine Arts Council, a non-profit founded in 1972 which sponsors its own events at the venue, which it also rents out to other organizations.
The opera house will showcase one more Christmas concert before the holiday with “A Clark Family Christmas” on Saturday, Dec. 16.
The show will feature singer/songwriter/storyteller Kerry Patrick Clark along with wife Amy and son Robby performing Christmas music for all ages along with a little humor mixed in.
To reserve tickets for the performance ($15 general admission, $12 for seniors 60+, and $10 for students), call (419)237-2721.