- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 25 Apr 2008.
Luke Grooms honored by Emory & Henry College
ABINGDON, VA-Newport native Luke Grooms was among those receiving Emory & Henry College's 2008 Distinguished Alumni Awards at the school's recent Charter Day ceremonies.
Grooms, who graduated from Emory & Henry in 2001, received the A. L. Mitchell Young Alumnus of the Year Award. A former Emory & Henry football player and former member of the Emory & Henry Concert Choir, Grooms has distinguished himself as an opera singer with performances at Carnegie Hall and with the New York City Opera.
The son of Diana Grooms, Newport, and Harold Grooms, Cosby, the singer is currently in rehearsal for appearances at New York's Metropolitan Opera.
A graduate of Cocke County High School, Grooms also earned his master's degree in voice from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
He then moved to New York where he quickly distinguished himself as a leading tenor. He has appeared both in American and Italian productions and most recently appeared in the Broadway production "Jerry Springer, the Opera."
Because of his current commitments in New York, Grooms was unable to attend Emory & Henry's Charter Day event. Accepting the award on his behalf was his brother, Jason Grooms, Newport.
Also attending the ceremony were the honoree's mother and grandmother, Selma Grooms Ogle, also of Newport.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 23 Jul 2009.
Newport native Luke Grooms to present concerts
Author: Duay O'Neil
NEWPORT-Newport native Luke Grooms will return to his hometown the first weekend in August to present two concerts.
A resident of New York City, Luke continues to garner honors with appearances in opera and Broadway venues both in America and abroad.
On Saturday, August 1, Luke will give a concert at First Baptist Church of Newport at 7 p.m.
At that time, he will sing works by Verdi, Puccini, and Rossini, as well as musical theater selections.
First Baptist Church organist Donna Balch and First Baptist Church pianist Mary Ruth Buckner will accompany him.
Dr. Rich Lloyd, First Baptist Church pastor, invites the public to attend.
"We at First Baptist are honored to host Luke in concert," said Dr. Lloyd. "He has shared his talents with us before and we are always blessed by his performances."
A reception at the church will follow.
Then on Sunday, August 2, Luke will help Cocke County celebrate the 75th anniversary of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.
At 2 p.m., he will present a concert in the Cosby Campground Amphitheater, an event sponsored by the Cocke County Partnership's Department of Tourism.
Selections for the afternoon will include traditional Appalachian music along with Broadway show tunes and opera.
"We are thrilled that Luke has agreed to share his tremendous talents with us," said Tourism Director Linda Lewanski.
"Luke is extremely proud of his Park-related heritage. His ancestors include one of two Grooms brothers brutally murdered during the Civil War by members of Teague's Scouts. This act occurred near the TN/NC state line in an area now encompassed by the Park. Part of that story includes the fact that Luke's ancestor, a fiddler, was allowed to play one last song, "Bonaparte's Retreat," before being shot. Over the years, that song has come to be known as "The Grooms Tune." In returning to the Park to sing, Luke will be honoring his forebears whose musical talents remain strong in the family."
Since graduating from Cocke County High School in 1997, Luke, the son of Diana Grooms of Newport, and Harold Grooms, Cosby, has earned his bachelor's degree from Emory & Henry College and his master's degree from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
He has been a part of some of the most prestigious opera training programs in the world, including Glimmerglass Opera, Chautauqua Opera, Des Moines Metro Opera, Sarasota Opera, and Opera North.
The recipient of an encouragement award from The Mario Lanza Scholarship Competition, Luke has sung at both the Metropolitan Opera and Carnegie Hall.
Equally at home in musical theater and cabaret, Luke recently appeared in the Broadway premiere of Jerry Springer: The Opera at Carnegie Hall, singing the dual roles of Dwight and God.
Among his most recent work has been the role of Senator Biden in a new work, Anita and Clarence, based on the sexual harassment hearing of Judge Clarence Thomas.
Future engagements include the roles of Des Grieux in Manon and Nadir in The Pearl Fishers, both with Opera in the Heights in Houston, Texas.
Both local concerts are free. A love offering will be taken at the First Baptist Church concert.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 4 Aug 2009.
Luke wows audiences in weekend concerts
©2009 NPT PHOTO BY DUAY O'NEIL
Luke Grooms, who operatic and Broadway musical career continues to soar, came
home to Newport last week to share his vocal talents with two local audiences.
Published: 11:14 AM, 08/04/2009
Author: Duay O'Neil
Luke Grooms, who operatic and Broadway musical career continues to soar, came home to Newport last week to share his vocal talents with two local audiences.
Over 300 listeners gathered in the First Baptist Church sanctuary Saturday evening to enjoy a program of opera and Broadway numbers.
Accompanied by his early music teacher Teresa Robertson and Donna Balch at the grand piano, Luke captured the hearts of his audiences as he strolled down the aisle with his opening number, "La donna e mobile" from Verdi's "Rigoletto."
Now a New York City resident, Luke sang from the works of Puccini, Bellini, Rossini, and Mozart, his magnificent tenor voice soaring effortlessly with each number.
Prior to singing "Che gelida manina" from "La Boheme," he explained that it is one of his favorite selections.
After a fifteen-minute intermission, Luke returned to the auditorium and continued to delight his audience with solos from such Broadway shows as "The Wiz" and "Guys and Dolls."
Following a standing ovation, Luke closed the concert with "Bring Him Home" from "Les Miserables".
Members of his family hosted a reception in the church fellowship hall afterwards.
On Sunday afternoon, in celebration of Great Smoky Mountains National Park's 75th anniversary, the Cocke County Partnership Department of Tourism proudly presented Luke in concert in the sanctuary of Cosby's Liberty Church.
Before an audience of 100-plus, Luke asked everyone to stand while he sang "The Star-Spangled Banner."
Again accompanied by Balch, Luke then opened his program with three religious selections: "Amazing Grace," "He Touched Me," and "Beulah Land."
For the second part of the program, he again sang Broadway musical numbers, then closed with time-honored favorites "Tennessee Waltz" and "God Bless America," which he dedicated to America's troops.
To close the afternoon, he asked those present to stand and join in singing "Rocky Top" before he ended with "Bring Him Home."
A 1997 Cocke County High School graduate, Luke, son of Diana Grooms, Newport, and Harold Grooms, Cosby, first earned his bachelor's degree from Emory & Henry College and then his master's from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
He has since performed with opera companies both in America and Europe and will soon travel to Houston for an opera performance there.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 23 Nov 2011.
Luke Grooms to present concert Dec. 9
Author: Duay O'Neil
NEWPORT-Newport native Luke Grooms is coming home for the holidays and will share his musical talents with Cocke County in a concert Friday, Dec. 9, at First United Methodist Church.
Sponsored by the Newport Theatre Guild, the program will feature a combination of both opera and musical theatre numbers ranging from the works of Mozart and Verdi to selections from Funny Girl and Les Miserables.
Nicole Wood will be Grooms' accompanist for the 7 p.m. event. A reception will follow. Tickets are $10 and will be available from Newport Theatre Guild members, Diana's Beauty Shop, and Fisher Insurance Company, as well as at the door.
Grooms, son of Diana Grooms of Newport and Harold Grooms of Cosby, is a Cocke County High School and Emory and Henry College graduate.
For more details, please see the latest edition of the Newport Plain Talk.
- [S113] Manes Funeral Home, (http://www.manesfuneralhome.com), 20 May 2012.
Frances Gentry obituary
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 23 Aug 2012.
Luke Grooms coming home for benefit concert
Author: Duay O'Neil
NEWPORT-Newport native Luke Grooms, whose singing talents have earned high praise in Variety, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe, will return home for a benefit concert at First Baptist Church on Saturday, September 1, at 1 p.m.
The concert is a benefit fundraiser for Newport Dance & Cheer Academy for their trip to perform in the Holiday Spectacular on ABC-TV at Walt Disney World on Christmas morning.
Grooms grew up in Newport and graduated from Cocke County High School in 1997, where he starred in several high school productions, played football, and maintained honor roll status.
He then earned his B. A. in music from Emory and Henry College and his M. M. in Voice from The University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music.
- [S24] The Newport Plain Talk, (http://www.newportplaintalk.com), 12 Dec 2013.
Newport native praised for performance in Les Miserables
Author: Miranda Smith
Milwaukee, Wis.-Newport native Luke Grooms is attracting attention for his current role as Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. He is the son of Diana Grooms, of Newport, and Harold Grooms, of Cosby. Selma Ogle, of Newport, is his grandmother. Grooms has a long list of theatrical credits in many well-known plays and has performed across the nation, from New York City to Los Angeles.
The play is presented by the Skylight Music Theatre in Milwaukee, Wis. and held at the Cabot Theatre in the Broadway Theatre Center. Opening night was November 22 and the play will continue to run until December 29. Les Miserables is one of the most celebrated and memorable musical productions of all time. Originally a novel written by Victor Hugo, the musical depicts the inspirational story of characters in revolutionary France. The play, which first debuted on Broadway in 1987, has since been enjoyed by 65 million people in more than 40 different countries and received over 100 awards internationally, including the prestigious Best Musical Tony.