Acclaimed Book - A Secret Gift - Comes to Life on Musical Stage

Released December 3, 2013


     Acclaimed Book – A Secret Gift – Comes to Life on Musical Stage

     CANTON, Ohio (December 2, 2013) — A Secret Gift, the amazing story of Canton
     during the Depression-era Christmas of 1933, comes to life at the Canton
     Symphony Orchestra’s Holiday Pops concert this Sunday, December 8 at 3pm at
     Umstattd Hall (2323 17th Street NW on the McKinley High School campus).

     A local composer, Eric Benjamin, created this musical work for orchestra, chorus
     and narrator.  It also includes readings from letters featured in the book. Ted
     Gup, the book’s author, will narrate and a cast of community members will
     participate in the readings.  Historic photos of Stark County, many from family
     members also included in the book, will be displayed on screens above the orchestra throughout the performance.

“It’s an honor to contribute to the legacy of this tremendous story,” commented Mr. Benjamin, “and bring it to life in music. The Canton area represents such a rich legacy of charity and kindness. Stories like this attest to its greatness. It’s just right that the Canton Symphony Orchestra should be the first to perform the ‘stage’ version of A Secret Gift.

In addition to the presentation of A Secret Gift, there will be traditional holiday carols and an audience sing-along. The Canton Symphony Orchestra, Canton Youth Symphony, Canton Symphony Chorus, McKinley Senior High School Singers, and Canton South High School Symphonic Choir will join together for this concert.

Tickets for the concert range from $18-$28. There are senior, student and group discounts available. Dress is casual and the concert is appropriate for ages 8 and older. Tickets and the full concert season schedule are available online at, by calling 330-452-2094, at the box office window located inside the Cultural Center for the Arts (weekdays 10am-2pm), or by walk-up.

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain. Under the direction of Gerhardt Zimmermann, the orchestra performs classical, pops, holiday, and educational programs. Most performances are in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, 2323 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio (at McKinley High School across from C.T. Branin Natatorium). Parking at McKinley High School is free. For more information, please visit

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For more information:
Irene Barker
Director of Marketing, Canton Symphony Orchestra