Steeles bring Christmas sounds to RCT

The Steeles , a family of musical super-achievers, will bring their Christmas show to Rochester for the first time with a performance at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 1 at Rochester Civic Theatre , 20 Civic Center Drive S.E.

The Steeles are five siblings who, although born and reared in Gary, Ind., have made a huge mark on the Minnesota music scene since the 1980s. A couple of them, namely sisters Jearlyn and Jenetta, have combined music with theater. Fred tours with the gospel musical "Mahalia." J.D. is an in-demand musician. And Billy, the youngest, is assistant director of Sounds of Blackness.

Now, they're combining their talents for a Christmas show that will feature gospel, traditional, secular and popular Christmas tunes.

Jearlyn Steele has performed twice in previous years at RCT, but this is the first time the entire family will be on the Civic Theatre stage.

Jearlyn is perhaps the best known sibling, based in part on her frequent performances on the "A Prairie Home Companion" radio program. She is also often seen in plays at Twin Cities theaters.


Jenetta, who originally moved to the Twin Cities with the intention of working as an attorney, is also seen on local stages, and has recorded the operas "African Portraits" with the Chicago Symphony and "Letters to Rosa" with the Detroit Symphony.

The entire family toured the musical "The Gospel at Colonus," around the world in the late 1980s, including a run on Broadway.

Tickets are $22, available at the RCT box office, 507-282-8481.

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