Roger and Sue Smith performed for the first time together in the fall of 1952, for the Gideon banquet at the U.S. Slicing Machine Company cafeteria. Now, channeling some of those great memories, the couple will take audience members on a “Sentimental Journey” during the 2017 inaugural First Friday in the Chapel. The program starts at noon, Jan. 6 in the La Porte Hospital Family Chapel, 1007 Lincolnway, La Porte. It is free and open to the public; participants are welcome to bring a lunch.
Roger Smith retired from La Porte High School in 2003 after 40 years as a teacher and guidance counselor, and Sue Smith retired that same year after teaching private violin, viola and piano lessons, and directing several choirs in a Kentucky high school. Together, they have raised seven children in their musical family. In addition, they have 16 grandchildren and six grand dogs in Indiana, Massachusetts, Maryland, Florida and Texas.
Both Roger and Sue have played extensively in high school and college bands, orchestras, and chamber groups. They also were principal oboe and clarinet in the founding years of the La Porte Symphony Orchestra, and still play those instruments today in the Michigan City Municipal Band, with 2016 marking the 62nd season for Roger, and the 50th for Sue. Sue has volunteered as a high school choir accompanist for seven years, and directed/played for two church choirs for more than 40 years, having composed many sacred choral numbers related to Christmas. She also accompanied the Purdue La Porte County Extension Chorus, and both Sue and Roger belonged to La Porte Amateur Music.
The January First Friday performance will feature selections such as “Sentimental Journey” complete with train whistle chords in the middle; some love songs, including a 1784 French melody once sung by Elvis; “Georgia on my Mind;” “The Lord’s Prayer;” some Christmas tunes; a short swinging medley of well-known folk songs; and “My Funny Valentine.”
The First Friday in the Chapel series offers outstanding musical performances each month, made possible by the La Porte Hospital Foundation Chapel Fund for holistic health - body, mind and spirit. For more information about the First Friday in the Chapel series, call (219) 326-2333. For information about the Chapel Fund or Foundation, call (219) 326-2471 or toll-free at (877) 265-4539.