Walter Belcher to Show Saddlebrooke "The Reason Why I Sing"
An Evening with Walter Belcher celebrates the people and influences in his life
International performer Walter Belcher has sung for audiences that range from European royalty to NASA's original astronauts, and was last seen on our own Desert View PAC stage last February in "Big Top Broadway," but he has never forgotten where he got his start: in the church choir in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio.
The journey that took him from the choir loft to center stage will be featured in An Evening with Walter Belcher. The show will take place on January 7 at 7:30 and will follow Walter's musical journey from his early church days to his tours with international performing organization Up with People to his life today. Songs will include "At Last," "Sitting on the Dock of the Bay," "God Bless the Child," "You are the Sunshine of My Life," and "Minnie the Moocher", and will highlight Walter's incredible 5+ octave range.
"I was introduced to singing in the church and started off with traditional hymns," says Walter. "It was very controlled – you didn't embellish. When I tried to add some flare to 'Blessed Assurance' my grandfather gave me the look that told me to stop immediately. But then, we would go home and he would listen to Ella Fitzgerald and Sarah Vaughn. I knew that there was more that I could do with the music."
Family played a huge role in shaping Walter's musical influence. While it was family that introduced him to the church, it was also family that introduced him to different artists and styles of music. From there, he developed his love for musical theatre and his passion for live performances.
Walter contends that, "There's nothing like singing in front of a live audience. If people find one or more songs in the evening that they can relate to, it sparks a memory, or makes them giggle, it makes the experience more valuable for me because we've shared it and made a new memory together."
And he's made plenty of memories. He spent six years travelling with Up with People and then returned to Tucson (where he had moved during his adolescence) to attend the University of Arizona. While there, he performed in Into the Woods and Cabaret, among others. In the United States, he has performed in Forever Plaid, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Memphis, and Chicago, as well as several other concerts and feature performances. Walter also spends 3-4 months each year travelling and performing in Europe, singing with live orchestras at large concert halls and performance venues. A little closer to home, he will be seen next April in Phoenix Theatre's production of The Scottsboro Boys.
An Evening with Walter Belcher is produced by Khris Dodge Entertainment. Tickets are $30. Call the box office at 825-2818 or visit www.dvpac.net for more information or to reserve seats.
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