Piqua Arts Council announces 2021 Holiday Concert musician line-up


For the Miami Valley Today

PIQUA — The Piqua Arts Council will be hosting their sixth annual Sounds of the Season Holiday Concert at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 4. The concert will be held at St. James Episcopal Church, located at 200 W. High St. in Piqua, and will feature a reception with cookies and punch following the concert. Performers for this year’s concert include local favorites like John Simon; members of the St. James Episcopal Church musical choir, Patti Haller, Jane Kretschmann, Don Kuchta, and Ryan Ramey; Jimmy Felts; and Victoria Smith.

This year’s event will be a ticketed event with tickets costing $5 per person or $10 per family. The Piqua Arts Council will be donating $3 of every single ticket and $6 of every family ticket to the Bethany Center in Piqua. Tickets can be purchased through the Piqua Arts Council’s webpage at www.PiquaArtsCouncil.org/sounds-of-the-season.

“We’re excited to be giving back to the community through the Bethany Center this year,” said Executive Director Jordan Knepper. “During the holiday season, we think it is important that everyone has a hot meal, and the Bethany Center has been doing great work in the community for a long time now.”

Born and raised in Iowa, John Simon moved to the Dayton area in 2006 and works as a guitar player for a variety of acts and events. His second solo album, “Heartsick in the Rearview,” was released in 2020 and is streaming everywhere.

Patti Haller studied English and Music at Ohio Northern University. In recent years, she has been a musician and director of music for several churches in the Piqua and Troy area. She is currently the music director at St. James Episcopal Church.

Jane Knighten Kretschmann grew up in Alabama and lived in other southern states before finding her way to Piqua 28 years ago. Retired from teaching English at Edison, Kretschmann said she has four talents—reading, writing, singing, and driving friends to medical appointments.

Don Kuchta, originally from Chicago, has lived in Piqua just 19 days short of 37 years as of Sunday, Dec. 5. He is the executive director of Meals on Wheels of Piqua, Inc., and a member of St. James Episcopal Church. He has been acting and singing since he was in the second grade. There have been periods when he actually stopped and sat down for a while, but not for long.

Ryan Ramey is from Portsmouth and currently resides in Sidney with his partner, Evan. Throughout his high school career, he was very active in the music department. Ramey took part in Select Choir, All-County Honors Choir, High School Band, and Theater. He is currently a senior at Shawnee State University and majoring in Health Sciences. Ramey plans on pursuing a community-based outreach career in the field of health care.

Jimmy Felts started playing guitar at 8 years old. After seeing the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show at age 10, he decided he wanted to make a living playing guitar, and at age 12, he started his own band. By 21 years of age, Felts was a full-time musician and guitar instructor. Now, at age 67, he is still a student of the guitar, and he makes his living teaching and playing music. Felts is blessed to have turned his passion into a career in which he has never grown tired of.

Victoria (Vicki) Smith is a contributing author for several publications. She has been a speaker and singer for conferences, banquet events, workshops, and women’s groups. Smith has recorded three vocal CD’s, and vocationally, Smith is excited to be a certified health coach. She is full of passion, joy, enthusiasm, and humor, and she has a straightforward approach to everyday life.

“This really is a special holiday concert,” said Knepper. “We’ve had some amazing performers over the years, and this year is no exception. The last few years’ performances can be viewed on our YouTube page before the concert and provide and excellent sample of holiday music.”

Sounds of the Season will be held at 5 p.m. Dec. 4 at St. James Episcopal Church, 200 W. High St. in Piqua. More information can be found and tickets can be purchased on the Piqua Arts Council’s webpage at www.PiquaArtsCouncil.org/sounds-of-the-season or by reaching out to them by phone at 937-773-9630.

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