Every year, the Lodi Community Concert Association hosts a series of performances for the community to enjoy. Musicians from all over the United States, and sometimes from other parts of the world, visit Hutchins Street Square to bring incredible music to Lodi fans.
This week, though, they’re doing something a little different. Instead of inviting performers from far away places, the LCCA is spotlighting two of Lodi’s own stellar musical acts.
“We want to support our area talent,” said Judith Halstead, president of the LCCA.
The concert association is hoping to turn the Hometown Showcase concert into a series. While they still plan to bring in talent from other parts of the world for concerts, they want to introduce Lodians to the professional and talented musicians here in town, Halstead said.
The first Hometown Showcase will shine the spotlight on the Meistersingers, Lodi High School’s advanced choir, and Music With Strings Attached.
“The Meistersingers are well-traveled and well-trained a capella singers,” Halstead said.
Music With Strings Attached — Chase and Carol Ann Loeb, who will be joined by guest performer Amy Lindsey — perform at events in the Lodi area, write their own music, and released an album in 2017.
Serving as master of ceremonies is Sierra Dalton, a music major studying at San Joaquin Delta College and past recipient of the Lodi Community Concert Association’s scholarship. Dalton, 20, is an alumna of Lodi High School and a member of Delta’s concert choir, Vocal Jazz and Delta Singers programs.
Music With Strings Attached
Music With Strings Attached grew out of pianist Chase Loeb and cellist Carol Ann Loeb’s time practicing and performing together.
“My wife and I met in college in Colorado, and we started playing music together,” Chase Loeb said.
Carol Ann’s family was from Lodi, so the pair settled here after college and began performing at small venues and weddings. When B Sharp School of Music opened its doors, they began teaching.
“We decided to start writing our own music, and we came out with a CD in 2017,” he said.
Now, the duo owns the music school — which they plan to rebrand as Sayla Music Academy this summer.
Violinist Amy Lindsey is a fellow teacher at the school, and will join them for Sunday’s performance. But the three play well together, and are planning to form a trio after this concert, Loeb said.
“There’s a lot happening. We’re super blessed right now,” he said.
The Loebs will perform both original music and some covers of popular songs. Among them will be their original piece “Impromptu,” from their 2017 album.
“It’s a really fun, lively piece that we wrote together,” Loeb said.
Lindsey will be featured as a soloist.
“We’ll finish the concert with some beautiful music for piano trio,” Loeb said — piano, violin and cello.
The three were thrilled and honored when the Lodi Community Concert Association asked them to be part of the season’s last concert.
“We’re really excited to be part of the Hometown Showcase,” Loeb said.
They’ve been wanting to perform at a large venue like Hutchins Street Square for quite a while now, he said, both for the joy of performing and to bring their music and music culture to a wider audience.
“We feel really supported by this local community,” he said.
“The Lodi High Meistersingers have been around for years,” said Jessica Gazsi, who has served as Lodi High’s choir director since 2012.
Originally, they sang madrigals — a type of choral music popular in the Renaissance, that saw a resurgence in the 1700s — and even held madrigal dinners and concerts.
Over the years, however, the Meistersingers have evolved to become Lodi High’s advanced chamber choir.
“They sing a variety of music from different time periods and cultures,” Gaszi said.
For the Hometown Showcase, they’ll be singing works by The Beatles, including hits like “Eleanor Rigby” and “Hey Jude.”
“There’s so many to choose from, it’s really hard,” Gaszi said with a laugh.
The choir’s membership changes each year as students enter the high school or go off to college. Choir members must audition for a place, and be prepared to work hard and spend plenty of time in rehearsals. This year, there are 31 students in the choir.
The membership does skew toward more girls, Gaszi admitted.
“But we do have a strong bass section for this year,” she said.
The Meistersingers perform all over the area, including at Lodi staples like the Grape Festival and Downtown Lodi Farmers Market. They will be performing at their high school concert 7 p.m. tonight with the rest of the school’s choirs.
But the Hometown Showcase is bigger, and Gaszi hopes the audience will be surprised by how talented and professional the Meistersingers are.
“This is our first time that we’ve been invited to sing with the Lodi Community Concert Association,” she said. “We’re very excited to actually be on a large stage.