Middletown’s Blue Christmas concert benefits Hope House Mission

Event to be conducted at Sorg.

For more than 30 years, the annual “Blue Christmas” benefit concert has raised money for Middletown’s homeless shelter, Hope House Mission. This year’s event will be back at the Sorg Opera House and feature a stellar line-up of local artists.

“We want to continue to do the fundraiser to benefit the Hope House, because the Hope House is an important institution in Middletown,” said event organizer and chair, Chuck Evans.

Founded in 1989, Hope House Mission serves homeless men, women and children and Butler, Warren and the surrounding counties in Southwest Ohio.

The Hope House Mission does a lot more than house the homeless, he said, they also do job training, focus on education and health, and teach life skills.

Artists from across the region will come together for the “Blue Christmas” concert at 7 p.m. Sunday. General admission tickets are $20.

The fundraiser will feature a talented line-up of artists, many who are veteran musicians, for an evening of blues, blues-based rock and jazz music that will raise money for a good cause. All of the musicians volunteer their time in support of the event. Many of the musicians have been involved every year, including the sound and lighting crews.

“I’m excited about bringing everybody together and playing together,” Evans said.

The evening’s performance line-up will include Fred Gillespie and Friends, I Dig Pig featuring Jimmy D. Rogers, The Gillespie Express with Ferris Gillespie and James Clark, Rick House and Friends, and other special guests, including Chuck Evans and more.

Gregg Clark, who passed away in 2019, started the event in 1991 to help the Hope House Mission. Clark was the original chair, and he was also a regular player at the annual event. He was also a leader in several bands, including the Royal Blues and the Gregg Clark Group. Additionally, he was instrumental part of the Lebanon Blues Festival. Clark was a 1971 graduate of Middletown High School.

The concert was held at the Sorg Opera House for the first three years. After a couple of years at the Sorg, Blue Christmas moved to The Manchester Inn & Conference Center in Middletown for about 20 years. It moved to the DAV Hall after The Manchester closed in 2011. Most recently the event was held at The Windamere for three years, and prior to that was held at The Oriole’s Nest for three years. The event was not held in 2020 due to COVID-19. It returned to the Sorg in 2021, the place where it all began.

How to go

What: Blue Christmas concert to benefit Hope House Mission

When: 7 p.m. Sunday. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Where: Sorg Opera House, 63 S. Main Street, Middletown

Admission: General admission tickets are $20. Box seats are available for $100 (seats up to four guests.) Tickets are available at www.sorgoperahouse.org.

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