Battiste family to perform first concert

Cary Ashby • Jan 5, 2019 at 12:00 PM

Having sung in church over the years, it was only natural that the Battiste family one day would decide to perform as a group.

“We (have) sung together in worship. We never ever have done a concert; it’s been a song here and there,” said the father, Bob Battiste.

Residents can experience this first-time family concert at 4 p.m. Sunday at St. Peter Evangelical Lutheran Church, 243 Benedict Ave. The program of 12 to 15 songs will include a combination of family selections, solos, duets and ensembles using both sacred and secular music. There will be some a capella songs.

“They all wanted to do it,” Battiste said, referring to pitching the idea of a concert. “They all like singing; they all like performing. … So it went over really well.”

Battiste, who has directed choirs for about 35 years, made suggestions about the ensemble selections and the family made the final decisions. Individuals chose their solos and duets.

Pianist Ryan Neal, a Norwalk High School graduate, will accompany the singers: Benji (first tenor), Josh (second tenor), Jan (alto), Cassie (soprano) and Bob (bass). Neal has been playing at a Findlay-area church.

The family became acquainted with Neal through the Caryl Crane Youth Theatre (CCYT) and Huron High School choir. 

“He’s a very accomplished musician,” Battiste said. “We are very fortunate to have him play with us.”

In addition to the family enjoying singing together, he said one of the aims of Sunday’s concert is for St. Peter to “offer more musical programs going forward.” Battiste has been the choir director for four years.

Each family member has been a soloist and sung in various groups and ensembles.

Battiste, a NHS graduate, and Jan, a Huron alumna, met in Columbus. He was directing the choir at Redeemer Lutheran Church in Columbus and Jan later joined the group. The couple lived in the Columbus area for years, started their family and returned to this area in 2007. They now reside in Huron.

All three of the Battiste children — Benji, Josh and Cassie — are Huron graduates.

“Benji and Cassie did shows with the CCYT and the Sandusky State State Theatre. They also were in Troubadors and both were selected for the All-Ohio State Honors Choir,” their father said.

At Ohio University, the siblings have been active in various choral groups. Their brother Josh has been performing over the years, singing and playing guitar.

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