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Known as “The Singing Policeman” and “America’s Tenor,” Daniel Rodriguez joins DPO for patriotic salute on November 11, 8 p.m. at the Schuster Center


DAYTON, OH (October 27, 2011) – The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra will present a special Veteran’s Day Concert on Friday, November 11, 2011 at 8 p.m. at the Schuster Center.   Featured guest artist will be tenor Daniel Rodriguez; Neal Gittleman, Music Director of the DPO, will conduct.   

Known as “The Singing Policeman” in his former work with the New York City Police Department, Daniel Rodriguez came to national attention in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks. Appearances with his signature rendition of “God Bless America” showcased his fine tenor voice and helped soothe a suffering nation. His Veteran’s Day program with the DPO will include a variety of patriotic and inspirational songs including “America the Beautiful,” “Shenandoah.” “God Bless the USA”and“You’ll Never Walk Alone.”   Orchestral selections will include Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man” and Barber’s “Adagio for Strings.”

Tickets for the Veteran’s Day concert range from $18 - $49 and are available by calling (888) 228-3630 or by ordering on the web at  Senior tickets are $2 off regular price in areas B-C; student tickets are 50% off regular price in areas B-C.  

All Dayton-area active and retired military personnel may receive complimentary tickets (maximum two per household) to this concert. These may be secured by presenting a valid military or veteran ID in person at the Box Office; no complimentary reservations by phone, please.
Supporting Sponsors for the Veteran’s Day concert are Goodrich Corporation and ITT Exelis.


About Daniel Rodriguez
To those who have come to love him as the so-called “singing policeman,”—the New York City cop who helped bring the country an uplifting spirit of promise and hope with his stirring rendition of “God Bless America” after the September 11 terrorist attacks—it is no surprise that Daniel Rodriguez has always been a spiritual man. His first two albums, the debut SPIRIT OF AMERICA and the romantic FROM MY HEART, both included a spiritual song as a testament to the driving force in his life, and he has welcomed the opportunity to work with institutions such as the USO, the City of Hope, Dr. Robert Schuller’s Crystal Cathedral and numerous law enforcement organizations.

As with every “overnight” success, Daniel’s road to his current place as “America’s Beloved Tenor” was long and rife with all the detours and potholes of every life path. He began singing in his youth, the product of a musical, multi-cultural family where his Puerto Rican roots intermingled with the rich fabric of New York City. His father and grandfather both sang. Others in his family played various instruments. By junior high school, he was enrolled in theater arts and performing in musicals as well as dramatic roles.

At 16, he presented his first recital at Carnegie Hall; at 17, he was billed as the “17-year-old Baritone.” Then, at 19, he put music aside to raise his family, going to work to make ends meet. For five years, he did just about any job that would put food on the table: short order cook, catering chef, cab driver, truck driver. But, at 24, he decided to go back into music, which he did with a very entrepreneurial spirit.

“I hired a piano player, dusted off my sheet music from Carnegie, rented a hall, made out the flyers, sold tickets, collected the money at the back of the house, then went to the front, put on my tux and did the show,” he remembers. “I made $200, and I began my trek back into the music business.”

He invested his money at Kinko’s in a cover letter, some 8x10 photos and a program of the music with a few reviews and shipped them out in a folder to every church in the Yellow Pages. He started getting offers for shows.

“I thought of churches,” he recalls, “because of my years as Leader of Song, participating in countless weddings and funeral services. Also, churches come with their own audiences. They’d do the selling, I’d give them a modest rate, and it would basically be a fundraiser, and it started to steamroll. Every opportunity that came my way, I welcomed with open arms.”

Meanwhile, he worked at the post office, and then as a police officer in the New York City Police Department. It was in uniform that local New York audiences began to discover his voice and his passion for the music he sang. As an “official singer” for the NYPD Ceremonial Unit, he sang at official functions, and later, at memorials in the aftermath of the September 11th attacks.

Before long, then-New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani helped set up an audition at the Metropolitan Opera that Daniel now calls “a tragedy.” “What makes you think a policeman can sing at the Met?” was the first comment that greeted him as he arrived. He was only allowed to sing two notes before being dismissed.

Through the Mayor, Placido Domingo heard the story, and he told Giuliani he would give the singer a listen. Domingo was in the planning stages for his Young Artists program at the time.

“The same day the Yankees won the Pennant in 2001,” says Daniel, “I went to the Met and sang for Maestro Domingo, and he invited me to study with him in Washington. I left the Met on a cloud, sang the National Anthem at Yankee Stadium, saw the Mayor, told him what had happened, and he said, ‘You have to do that, it’s your calling,’ and I said, ‘Well, you’ll have to give me the time off.’” Daniel studied with Maestro Domingo for a year and half.

Since then, he has performed at the 2002 Winter Olympics, the PBS Memorial Day concert in Washington, D.C., the Tournament of Roses Parade, the 2004 Republican National Convention and President Bush’s “Celebration of Freedom” Inauguration concert, and on television’s “The Late Show with David Letterman,” “Larry King Live,” “Live with Regis and Kelly” and “Oprah,” among many other high profile events. He officially retired from the NYPD in June of 2004.

Now with three records under his belt, Daniel is looking to the future with the same inquisitive optimism that has brought him to this point. His goals include the Broadway stage, opera and, possibly, acting in dramatic roles. “I don’t want to limit myself,” he says. “For me, life is an experience, life is a ride; you can’t say ‘I’m going to take this road, and that’s it.’ Life has twists and turns, and you have to be able to navigate through them. Always consult your higher power. And let yourself be led too. People say ‘What do you want to do?’ and I say, ‘Well, God knows what I’ll be doing. I just kind of follow the signs.’ There have always been doors that open for me, and it’s having the courage to walk through them and experience what’s behind them that has made life interesting and has gotten me where I am. It’s about enjoying the ride.”

About the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra
The Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra is the largest and oldest performing arts organization in the community. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra performances are made possible in part by Montgomery County and Culture Works, the single largest source of community funds for the arts and culture in the Miami Valley. Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra receives partial funding from the Ohio Arts Council, a state agency created to foster and encourage the development of the arts and to preserve Ohio's cultural heritage. Funding from the Ohio Arts Council is an investment of state tax dollars that promotes economic growth, educational excellence, and cultural enrichment for all Ohio residents.

Performance Place at the Schuster Center ~ 109 North Main Street, Suite 200 ~ Dayton, Ohio 45402

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