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New Odyssey Christmas Farewell Tour to Perform December 16 at WVC

If ever there is a Christmas town, it is Mt. Carmel where the Main Street (Market) intersections each flicker with streams of lighted garland running to a giant Christmas tree overhead also sparkling with colorful LED holiday lighting.  Parades, concerts, open houses in gift shops and businesses, community concerts, and more events join to raise the joy of the holiday time and also to help many families and individuals to have food and gifts.

On Sunday, December 16 at 1:30 p.m., the incredibly talented New Odyssey trio of musicians will return to the Brubeck Arts Center stage at Wabash Valley College, 2200 College Drive, performing an entertaining and exciting Christmas concert.  The group mesmerizes audiences throughout the year with Classic rock, country, novelty and specialty arrangements.

The New Odyssey shows include a variety of songs from every genre, so the Wabash Valley Arts Council knows a standing ovation will again be part of the “New Odyssey Christmas.”  And, again with 30 instruments strategically laid out on the stage, the group promises to play every single one.  A unique part of the show was during the performance of the Beatles’ “Sergeant Pepper” when drummer Gary Todd changed into the Sergeant Pepper jacket and played the drums through sensors in the jacket that resulted in note-by-note drum beat backing the great Beatles selection.

New Odyssey has been together for over 30 years but will be retiring after their current tour.  New Odyssey’s professional quality has thrilled appreciative audiences during three previous performances in the Brubeck Arts Center.  At previous concerts, patrons rose to their feet disbelieving what the 3-man, 30-instrument group could do, from Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” to Frankie Valli, Chicago, the Temptations, Iron Butterfly, even Flatt and Scruggs.

From start to finish, New Odyssey plays its song variety and showcases its skills through many instrument changes, crowd interaction, and vocal performances from all three band members.  Drummer and comic Gary Todd has been involved in show business since age two when he started performing as an acrobat with the family act “The Tumbling Todds,” as well as singing and performing on over 15 musical instruments.  His stage presence falls in the category “totally unpredictable.”

Michael Jay began singing and playing guitar at age 12, and by the time he was 21, he was playing bass, composing music for his own bands, and performing along with national recording artists.  He has done television and radio commercials, was music director of a local play, and is involved in music ministry at his church.  As a personal highlight, Jay sang the National Anthem for the Chicago Cubs, and he is considered the vocal strong point of the band.

Gary Polkow began his piano training at age 7.  As an 8-year-old, he was rewriting and performing traditional classical children’s pieces.  His list of credits includes film credits, synthesizer sound design, music and choir director, as well as the music director of New Odyssey.

Expect one of the most unique acts hosted by Wabash Valley College and to see and hear some magical Christmas music!   Patron Passes will be honored, and single ticket price is $10.  Tickets will be available at the door or may be reserved by calling 618-263-5124 or

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