Close friends since the first grade, a pair of Hillsboro High School graduates have scheduled a free concert to showcase their burgeoning musical talents for their community.
The Gabriel Gilliland and Christopher Jacky Summer Concert will be held at 3:30 p.m. Saturday, July 23 at the Hillsboro First United Methodist Church. It will feature voice, keys, guitar and trombone across a variety of genres.
“We are both very excited to put on this concert, especially after having to postpone it two years,” Gilliland said. “Also, neither of us have participated in a musical event with this much variety and range. We are looking forward to sharing our passion with everyone.”
The 2020 HHS graduates originally wanted to schedule the concert just after high school, but then COVID-19 hit. So when the coronavirus loosened its grip this year, they decided to go for it.
“We just decided let’s mash everything together and a do a big fiasco,” Gilliland said.
Gilliland is currently studying trombone performance at the University of Cincinnati’s College – Conservatory of Music. He has been a part of all-state and all-national youth ensembles, regional orchestras and jazz ensembles, and has received awards in solo/concerto playing. He is currently playing with the UC College Conservatory of Music Wind Symphony and Concert Orchestra while gaining professional experience and preparing for auditions. He is also a singer-songwriter who plays the guitar and said he is working to expand his act. He has played at many venues around Southern Ohio, can be seen regularly at The Porch restaurant and Hillsboro Farmers Market, and has made solo appearances at the Paxton Theatre in Bainbridge and on Herb Day Radio.
Jacky is currently is a rising third-year vocal music education major at the Capital University Conservatory of Music, where he studies voice with Dr. Chad Payton, piano with Dr. Fan Zhang, and organ with Chad Baker. He is a section leader and student manager of the internationally acclaimed Capital University Chapel Choir under the direction of Dr. Lynda R. Hasseler, as well as the newly appointed rehearsal assistant of the low voice ensemble Capital Consort. His other performance experiences include the 2020 OMEA All-State Choir and The Cincinnati Youth Jazz Orchestra.
He was picked to sing in a select ensemble with the Eagles in Nationwide Arena in Columbus during their Hotel California 2020 Tour.
Jacky said a professor at Capital knows the manager of the Eagles, who asked if Capital might have some choir members the band could use during their performance in Columbus. Jacky auditioned and was selected as one of four tenors. For the Eagles concert, he said his group of about 20 was, “dressed in hideous golden robes,” and got to perform about 30 seconds during the song “Last Resort”. He said he did not get to meet any Eagles members because they were observing strict COVID protocols, but that the Eagles Don Henley recognized them during the show.
“It was so great,” Jacky said.
He said his brother, Daniel, and his brother’s friend, Christopher Ford, also HHS grads, gave a recital similar to the one he and Gilliland are preparing for just before they went off to college.
“We wanted to do something like that and we took inspiration from them,” Jacky said. “We’ll play some standard repertoire we learn in college, but there will be some crowd pleasers, too.”
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522.