Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Musicians come Home for the Holidays early this year


The Cups — from left Kathy Elzey, Tracy Walton, Chris Webster, and Tom Phillips in the back — will perform at Home for the Holidays. Courtesy photo

That’s the ticket

What: Home for the Holidays benefit concert for Davis School Arts Foundation

When: 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8

Where: Veterans’ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St.

Tickets: $20 adults, $10 children, available at Watermelon Music and Armadillo Music

Info: 530-758-2455,

There’s no place like home for the holidays.

Gather the family ’round and celebrate the season with great music and good cheer at the annual Home for the Holidays concert. Now in its 10th year, the concert begins at 7 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 8, at the Veterans’ Memorial Theater, 203 E. 14th St. in Davis.

Tickets — $20 for adults, $10 for children — are available at Watermelon Music, 207 E St. (530-758-4010) and Armadillo Music, 205 F St. (530-758-8058). Proceeds benefit the Davis School Arts Foundation, which supports music and arts education in Davis public schools.

For more information call 530-758-2455, or visit

This year’s show includes Joe Craven in his 10th appearance as emcee. Craven also will perform with his trio, and his daughter Hattie will join in on a song as well.

Performers include The Cups (featuring Chris Webster, Tracy Walton and Kathy Elzey), White Ginger Lei, the Rita Hosking Trio, Biscuits and Honey, the Vocal Art Ensemble, the Davis High School Jazz Choir and Voices of the Wood. In addition, there will be some surprise special guests and audience singalongs.

“For 10 years, musicians with Davis roots have returned to the local stage with holiday songs to support the school music programs where many of them got their start,” said Bill Fairfield, who has produced Home for the Holidays since its inception.

How did the concert begin?

“Ten years ago, I realized that most local, nationally known musicians were home for the holidays,” Fairfield said. “I thought it might be fun to get together and do a benefit show for the Davis Schools Arts Foundation.”

Fairfield, a founding member of the local band Mumbo Gumbo, has ties to the community and wanted to give back.

“Joe and I both had kids in the school system,” he said. “Chris Webster went to Davis schools. I wanted to bring that family feeling that we had in Mumbo Gumbo and do a variety-style, holiday music show. It just seemed natural to give back to the community and help supply funds toward artistic enrichment.”

In keeping with the charitable spirit, most musicians don’t take a paycheck for the event.

“Local musicians like Chris Webster and Rita Hosking donate their time,” he said. “The show is affordable, we keep the cost down. It’s a good benefit and we raise a lot of money for the Davis School Arts Foundation.”

It also benefits the musicians.

“It was a way for the various musicians, who seldom see each other’s acts, to get together and celebrate the holidays,” Fairfield said. “I really wanted to celebrate the arts community of Davis and highlight the variety of great home-grown music. Every year, the show has an intimate, small-town vibe that is enhanced by the seating design of the Veterans’ Theater.”

Webster and Hosking have both benefited from arts programs in Davis schools.

“Chris went to Davis schools and was in Madrigals,” Fairfield said. “She’s a great example of benefiting from the arts in schools.”

Hosking was a teacher in the Davis Joint Unified School District for many years.

“Rita is a great example,” Fairfield said. “She’s giving back to the district who employed her for all those years. As a musician, she’s growing every year. She’s the perfect person to have on the show.

“Joe Craven’s kids went to Davis,” he added. “His son acted in the theater program. His daughter Hattie grew up in Davis. She will sing at the concert; she did her first record last year. Her summers are spent at festivals with Joe.”

Last year, the Hawaiian sounds of White Ginger Lei were missed due to an illness.

“They’ll be performing this year, backing up The Cups,” Fairfield said. “The Cups sing ’40s holiday stuff like the Andrews Sisters.”

Another great local act is the acoustic trio Biscuits and Honey, featuring Kurt Roggli, Dianna Craig and Ron Cowden.

“It’s Ron from Watermelon Music on upright bass and Kurt from Akimbo on guitar,” Fairfield said.

New this year is the Davis Vocal Art Ensemble.

“They’re Davis’ premier auditioned, adult a cappella choir,” Fairfield said. “They plan on going to Europe next summer.”

Another change this year is the time. Usually, Home for the Holidays happens the week before Christmas, but this year it’s weeks earlier.

“Hopefully, people get in the holiday spirit right after Thanksgiving,” Fairfield said. “Home for the Holidays is a great home-grown show. It’s a good Davis tradition that supports the schools. It’s a win-win; a great cause with top-notch local musicians.”

Landon Christensen


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