Rent Party to feature Christopher Alan Graves

| February 19, 2018

COSHOCTON – Each month, the Pomerene Center for the Arts hosts a Rent Party where the public is invited to come out for an evening of music, food, and drinks to enjoy listening to the featured musician for that evening. The March Rent Party will feature Christopher Alan Graves, who recently returned to Coshocton after 30 years of singing and dancing on the Carnival Cruise Line.

Graves is a native of Philadelphia, Pa. but after moving to Coshocton in 1981, he considers Coshocton his home. He was employed by Echoing Hills as a nurse assistant and caregiver. After working at Echoing Hills for a few years, he decided to become a student at Knox County Vocational School, now known as Knox County Career Center, to become an LPN.

It was during a break while staying with friends that he got involved with his first of several Footlight Players musical production in “A Cole Porter Review”.

“I realized in that moment standing on stage with the spotlight hitting me that I was meant to go in a whole new direction,” said Graves.

From there, Graves became involved with the Coshocton Community Choir, the Warsaw Minstrel Show, sang solos in church, and other civic groups. He also went on a Christian mission in the summer of 1986 and sang on the west coast.

Graves returned to Philadelphia and then came back to Coshocton in 1987. He was living with a friend and cleaned houses and sold vacuum cleaners for a living. It wasn’t until he received a call from a friend’s daughter who was involved with the American Entertainment Production, wanting to know if they knew of anyone who could dance and sing that his life changed forever.

Through the American Entertainment Production, Graves went overseas to Germany, England, and many other places until the organization got contracted for cruise ships. That is when he became involved with the Carnival Cruise Line. Graves was hired as the second production singer in 1992 and performed in big productions in the style of Las Vegas shows. Out of that, Graves developed his own show which Carnival turned into a production of its own.

“The memories I have from those cruises are the friends, between both the crew and the guests,” he said. “I still have friends I keep in contact with from the very first ship I was on. Those bonds you have on the ships are so incredible. Because you’re in such short proximity to each other, friendships develop faster and relationships develop faster than they do on land.”

After 30 years with Carnival, Graves felt the need to return to what he considers his hometown.

“After 30 years, I felt the call to come back,” he said. “It was like this strong pull inside to want to be here again. People ask me what I’m going to do here and I’m going to give back. I’m not here to make a living. I’m here to live.”

Graves performs music from the big band era and sings songs made popular by Frank Sinatra and Sammy Davis Jr.

“I love telling a story through lyrics,” he said. “I love the affect it has on people, how it moves people. It’s different every time because the audience is different and they’re going to interpret the songs differently and have different emotions. That encourages me to keep doing it because it moves people.”

Graves has had no professional vocal training and attributes his success to directors at the Coshocton Footlight Players and various choir directors he has had through the years including local choir director, Charles Snyder.

The March Rent Party will be Friday, March 2 from 7:30 – 9:30 p.m. at the Pomerene Center for the Arts. Cost is $10. Bring your own snacks and drinks. Please make reservations by calling the Pomerene Center at 740-622-0326 or email [email protected].

“I hope the audience gets a glimpse into the real me because when I convey a story in song, I try to be true to the story,” he said. “I hope they take away the truth of me. I want them to feel passion for humankind. For me, that’s what it’s really all about. Life doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it out to be as long as we share it with each other.”

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Category: Arts & Entertainment

About the Author ()

I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.

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