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Christmas benefit concert for United Way set

December 9, 2011
By MARK J. MILLER - Staff writer ( , The Herald-Star

STEUBENVILLE - The Greg Capozzi Band will be performing selections from "The Greg Capozzi Christmas Album" in a benefit show for the United Way of Jefferson County, set for Dec. 17 at Froehlich's Classic Corner ballroom, 501 Washington St.

The doors open at 7 p.m. and the concert begins at 8 p.m., and all admission proceeds from the concert and sale of the Christmas CD go toward the United Way-sanctioned fundraiser. Indie artist Jamie Bruno is set to open the show.

"I'm bringing my 7-foot, baby grand piano," said Capozzi, adding other bandmates for the show include Mike Ofca on guitar; Dan Bozek on bass; Mark Trois on keyboards; Erik Kerr on drums; and Sonia Santacroce on vocals and percussion. "We'll be playing 90 percent of the songs from the album. We're adding some mainstream, secular songs for the show as well. "The show is to raise awareness for at this time of year," Capozzi continued. "It's the season of giving."

Article Photos

Guitarist Mike Ofca, left, and Greg Capozzi will be leading the Greg Capozzi Band during the band’s annual Christmas concert, this year scheduled for Dec. 17 at Froehlich’s Classic Corner ballroom, 501 Washington St. All proceeds from this year’s concert, including the sale of “The Greg Capozzi Christmas Album,” go toward the United Way of Jefferson County. - Mark Miller

Proceeds from the event will go to the United Way.

"We are thrilled to be able to work with Capozzi and his band to offer this event," said Ross Gallabrese, United Way president. "The show will offer area residents a pleasant break from the hustle-and-bustle of preparing for the holidays while helping their friends and neighbors."

Suzanne Brown and her husband, Dr. Thomas Brown, are this year's United Way campaign chairpersons. Suzanne said she's excited about the concert and how local musicians are helping the United Way meet its fundraising goal.

"I'm very excited about this during the time of giving," said Suzanne, adding the concert will be the perfect fundraising event. "We really need to get the community together to meet our goal. It's wonderful how everyone has rallied for us to meet that goal."

"The Greg Capozzi Christmas Album" took three years to complete and was recorded at Ofca's Innovation Studio in Steubenville. The album includes unique interpretations of holiday favorites, such as "Angels We Have Heard on High," "Joy to the World," "O Come All Ye Faithful" and others, all done in a contemporary style with interpolations from other Christmas songs making their appearances in other songs.

The last song recorded at the studio, "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen," is a tour-de-force, with snippets of several Christmas songs in multiple time signatures culminating in a climaxing coda. The epic song was the last to be recorded over the summer, according to Capozzi.

"We've been talking about and working on this project for three years," he said, adding the album concept evolved toward more complex and novel arrangements as recording progressed. "There was a push this summer to get this done."

Ofca, who also is the album's co-producer, said it was unusual to be working on Christmas songs in the middle of summer. Ofca added the two work well together.

"We have a musical synergy," Ofca said. "The band (for the show) includes everyone that played on the album except for (Santacroce and Trois). Greg amazes me the way he can play and sing these songs at the same time."

Drummer Pete Wilson also contributed to the album, Ofca added.

Tickets are $10 per person and are available in advance at Froehlich's or at the door. For information on the show, call (740) 283-9901. To purchase a CD or for information on Capozzi, go to

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