Tonto Community Concerts Hosts Gloria Loring

RIM REVIEW FEATURE

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Vocalist and songwriter, Gloria Loring, will be the featured artist in the Tonto Community Concert Association's next program.

Loring brings her, "Evening for Friends and Lovers" to the Payson High School auditorium at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 16.

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Gloria Loring will be the featured performer at the Nov. 16 Tonto Community Concert Association program at the Payson High School auditorium at 7 p.m.

Loring is one of the most versatile singers of her generation. She's been described as having "one of the best vocal instruments in pop music since the salad days of Barbra Streisand."

Her career has spanned three decades of recordings, concert tours, and appearances on stage, television, and radio. She is also well known for her role as Celebrity Chairman of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.

She began singing professionally at 14 with a folk group, "Those Four." Her first big break, on "The Merv Griffin Show," led to hundreds of appearances on variety and talk shows such as "The Tonight Show," "The Ed Sullivan Show," and "The Carol Burnett Show," as well as the Emmy Awards and the Academy Awards.

In 1980, Gloria won the role of "Liz Chandler" on NBC's "Days of Our Lives." It was her first acting job and lasted six-and-a-half years. During that time, she secured a place in the hearts of the daytime audience. Her weekly singing on "Days" generated a non-stop flow of fan mail and her acting talent enabled her to become one of the most popular actresses in daytime. In 1986, "Days" fans helped give Gloria a No. 1 record, "Friends and Lovers," a duet with Carl Anderson.

"I left the show in 1986, but people still remember me from it," Loring said in an interview with The Rim Review.

She said she is not familiar with Payson, but she knows Arizona. She has performed in Phoenix and her mother lived in Green Valley, outside of Tucson, for three years.

Loring is also a songwriter. She co-wrote the theme songs for the hit series, "Diff'rent Strokes" and "Facts of Life."

Over the years, Loring has shared the stage with top performers including Bill Cosby, Frank Sinatra, Al Jarreau, the Pointer Sisters, and Mel Torme. She has performed all over North America, in Europe, and enjoyed four sold-out concert tours of Australia.

"Whenever I get to sing it's a good day," she said.

In the last five years she has produced four compact disks, most recently a Christmas album, "You Make It Christmas," a rich, melodic tribute to the holiday season.

"An Evening for Friends & Lovers" features a diverse repertoire, Loring said, including jazz and works from some of her recordings.

"It's a combination of music I love," she said.

Loring said she enjoys giving concerts around the country. "People come because they know you. You have a good instrument to share in a special way. They appreciate it because it's heartfelt and well-delivered art."

Loring is currently on tour in Virginia and Mississippi, but she said she has not been doing much traveling in recent months as she is completing work on another book dealing with Type 2 Diabetes. It will be published in the spring by Dark Horse books.

She is an author of several other books and a publisher. After her son, Brennan, was diagnosed with diabetes, she created and published the two volume "The Days of our Lives Celebrity Cookbook," to raise money for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International. Those books, plus her album, "A Shot in the Dark," raised more than $1 million for diabetes research.

Her book, "Kids, Food, and Diabetes," published in 1986, contained recipes, menus, and practical advice for parents of diabetic children. In 1991, Lowell House published Gloria's second book, "Parenting a Diabetic Child." The new edition, "Parenting a Child with Diabetes," has just been released.

Loring also created "The Kids, Food and Diabetes Family Cookbook" to raise money for diabetes research. Just recently, a CD-ROM version called "Cook'N for Diabetics" was underwritten by a grant from KitchenAid.

She has served for 20 years as a spokesperson for diabetes research and writes a monthly column for the "Diabetes Wellness Letter." On the lecture circuit, she is known for her inspiring talks, punctuated with music. Her charitable efforts, particularly on behalf of diabetes research, have been recognized with numerous humanitarian awards. In 1999, the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation recognized her with their "Lifetime Commitment Award" and she was awarded the 1999 "Woman of Achievement Award" by the Miss America Organization. She is listed in Who's Who in America and The World Who's Who of Women. Loring is also a certified yoga teacher.

The remaining season

The 2004-2005 season includes four more concerts, plus a bonus concert for patrons. Scheduled to appear are:

  • The Montana Mandolin Society will have a program Thursday, Jan. 13;
  • For Valentine's Day, Monday, Feb. 14, the Matt Davenport Production "One Enchanted Evening -- Remembering Richard Rogers" will be presented;
  • Pianist Alpin Hong will perform Tuesday, March 1; and
  • The Robert Post one-man show, "POSTman Delivers" is Sunday, April 24.

The bonus concert is "Mark Twain & the Laughing River" starring Jim Post, Saturday, May 7.

All performances are at 7 p.m. in the Payson High School Auditorium.

"Of all the seasons we've had, I predict this is going to be the best one of all," said Steve Solcz, who handles publicity for the TCCA. This is the group's 26th season.

The Montana Mandolin Society is known for its own particular sound and style. They bring high voltage, positive energy to the stage.

This internationally known mandolin ensemble represents Montana as musical ambassadors in places such as The Kennedy Center, National Public Radio and Japan.

"One Enchanted Evening" brings the music of one of America's most beloved composers, Richard Rodgers, to life. This two-act musical will showcase the career of a man responsible for some of the most beautiful melodies ever composed. The first act focuses on his work, resulting from collaborating with Oscar Hammerstein, while the second act explores the music he produced with Lorenze Hart.

Alpin Hong's charismatic performance won him standing ovations and first prize in the 2001 Concert Artists Guild International Competition. Hong captivates audiences with his stunning virtuosity, solid artistic vision and irreverent style. A graduate of the Juilliard School, he made his orchestral debut with the Kalamazoo Symphony at age 10.

Robert Post presents a laugh-out-loud evening of skits. With remarkable physical dexterity, playful satire and wit, Post creates an unforgettable host of character changes. He is witty and wise, verbal and visual, humorous and hysterical.

Jim Post's program, "Mark Twain & the Laughing River" offers a unique interpretation of Twain's humor through dialogue and song, stories and historical fact.

The cost is $60 for a season pass to all performances. Individual tickets for a single performance sell for $20.

For further information about season or individual tickets, call Eloise Jones (928) 478-4363, Marilyn Wolfe (928) 474-6115 or Steve Solcz (928) 474-6723 or check out their website at www.tccarim.org.

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