Thursday night my husband and I had the extreme pleasure of travelling to the majestic Tampa Theatre to see Rockapella’s Christmas Show. This was exciting for two reasons. My first 2 years off college I attended The University of Tampa as a Music Education major. During that time I visited the Tampa Theatre and its beauty left me longing to return, but I hadn’t been back in 30 years. Also during those years I had the pleasure of performing with some amazing musicians, one of whom happens to be Scott Leonard of Rockapella.
The Tampa Theatre opened its doors in 1926 as one of America’s most elaborate “movie palaces”. The theatre opens its doors to over 600 events a year and is currently in a fundraising program to upgrade its projection system to a digital system. The theatre boasts a Mighty Wurlitzer Organ, which I cannot wait to visit again so I can hear it being played (my first instrument was the organ and it is still a favorite of mine to listen to). They also offer tours and field trips, which I would love to do someday. If you live in or are visiting the Tampa area I recommend a visit to this living piece of Tampa’s history.
Rockapella began in 1986 as quartet of Brown University graduates singing Doo Wop on the streets of New York City. Scott Leonard, the now senior member of the group joined in 1991. You may know them best as the house band and comedy troupe for the television show, “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” which aired on PBS from 1991-1996. The Carmen Sandiego theme song is still there #1 downloaded song. They are also famous for their Folgers coffe commercials that aired between 1998-2001.
I have now had the pleasure of seeing the Rockapella Holiday show twice, the first time about 5 years ago. A Rockapella show is a fun family night out. All 5 guys are very talented musicians and have great stage presence. In a world where so much of the “pop” music is digitalized, over dubbed and auto tuned it is so refreshing to hear musicians who are talented vocalists who perform with sound reinforcement but not full of processing.
You can download Rockapella’s 2011 Christmas Album A Rockapella Holiday, to enjoy this Christmas season.
Disclosure: I am thankful to the Tampa Theatre and Rockapella for inviting me to be their guest at this fun concert. All opinions are 100% mine. There are affiliate links in this post.