Grammy-winning artist tobyMac to perform at HU

Huntington, Ind.-Huntington University and Trinity Communications will present multi-Grammy and Dove award-winning artist tobyMac in concert at the university's Fieldhouse on Dec. 3. The Fieldhouse is located in the Merillat Complex for Physical Education & Recreation.

tobyMac will appear as part of his Winter Wonder Slam tour. The Huntington University concert also will include Stephanie Smith, B.Reith and Attaboy.

As in past years, Winter Wonder Slam will benefit the work of the U.S. Marine Corps in its annual Toys for Tots campaign. Concert goers are encouraged to bring an unwrapped gift to the event.

"During the holidays, everyone needs a break from studying for exams and Christmas shopping," tobyMac said. "I wanted to put together a diverse tour that rocks in many musical directions but always points to Christ. The Winter Wonder Slam Tour does have a Christmas theme, but every band will be playing their hits and doing it the way they do."

Doors open at 6:45 p.m., and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Seating is festival-style, meaning that it is mostly standing with some limited seats available.

Tickets are $23 in advance or $25 at the door for general admission, $15 in advance or $20 at the door for college students (college ID required for ticket purchase and admission), and $18 per person for groups of 10 or more. To purchase tickets by phone or mail, contact Trinity Communications at (260) 484-1029 or Huntington University's Merillat Centre for the Arts Box Office at (260) 359-4261.

Toby McKeehan, or tobyMac, as he is professionally known, grew up in northern Virginia where he fell in love with rap and hip hop. While attending Liberty University at Lynchburg, Va., in the mid 1980s, he met Michael Tait and Kevin Max Smith, and the three friends formed the Christian pop group dc talk, which mixed elements of gospel, grunge and hip hop into a hybrid. When dc talk ended in 1999, tobyMac went solo, releasing Momentum in 2001. A mixture of urban rock and hip hop, Momentum garnered five Dove Awards and a Grammy nomination and spawned the remix album, Re: Mix Momentum, released in 2003. tobyMac released Welcome to Diverse City in 2004. The album earned tobyMac a Dove Award for Rap/Hip-Hop

Album of the Year. Welcome to the Diverse City received its own album-length remix in August 2005 with the release of Renovating->Diverse City.

Pop rock artist Stephanie Smith worked with producer Jamie More on the arrangements and lyrics for all of the songs on her debut album, Not Afraid. Producer Chris Stevens, known for his work with tobyMac, Sanctus Real and Group 1 Crew, added his hand to Smith's song, "Renew Me."

B.Reith's album, Now Is Not Forever, is a mix of R&B, hip-hop, rock and pop. With influences ranging from Stevie Wonder to Lauryn Hill, B.Reith combines classic soul with modern hip hop. "God gave me an ear to pick up things," he said. "My style is just an accumulation of what I've heard throughout my life, channeled through the unique talents that God has given me."

Alt-pop band Attaboy is comprised of vocalist/pianist Amos Caley, guitarist Jeff Edgel and bassist Chris Brumbaugh. Caley and Edgel are both Huntington University alumni, and Brumbaugh is a Huntington, Ind., native. In May, Attaboy released the album, Shout. One of the band's singles, "Wait on You," was released to Christian radio stations nationwide and appeared on the Billboard Top 30 for Christian Contemporary Hit Radio.