RANCHO CUCAMONGA - The classic film and musical "The Sound of Music," centers on a family who find connection among themselves and others through the joy of singing together.
Rancho Cucamonga can claim its very own von Trapp family in the Gilfrys who have performed together as a singing family for a number of years, and will headline a special show to raise money for the Rancho Cucamonga Library Foundation at the Lewis Family Playhouse at 4 p.m. on Sunday.
Doors open at 3 p.m. for "holiday treats." Tickets are $35. Information is available at www.lewisfamilyplayhouse.com.
International opera star Rod Gilfry, the patriarch of the family, is joined by his wife Tina Gilfrey, their daughters, Carin Lawrence, Erica Buchiarelli, and their son Marc Gilfrey, in addition to family members.The Caryn Elementary School Couger Chorus, which Tina directs, will also sing at the event.
"It's an annual thing," said Tina Gilfry. "Normally we do this in the fall, and so this is a new one to do it with a holiday theme and sing holiday songs. We try to gather the kids as much as we can. This year is very special because we have our son sing too, and he's moving to New York, so I don't know if he'll be able to sing with us next year."
Rod and Tina, who celebrate 32 years of marriage on Thursday, Dec. 20, were high school sweethearts who performed in musicals together at Claremont High School. Rod decided to go professional after being told he had a pretty good singing voice.
Gilfry, a grammy nominated recording artist, got his start opposite opera legend Placido Domingo at the Los Angeles Opera in 1986. He has played the lead role in a number of American musicals, such as Sweeney Todd, and South Pacific, in addition to his accomplished work as an opera singer in companies throughout Europe.
In 2010, Rod and Carin performed as Captain von Trapp and Liesl in a production of The Sound of Music at the Theatre du Chatelet in Paris. Among the attendees was then-president Nicolas Sarkozy.
Tina has been a kindergarten teacher at Caryn Elementary School for the past 16 years, and is director of the Caryn Cougar Chorus. Carin, who lives in Switzerland, is an opera singer herself, and is set to perform with the New York City Opera. Erica is a behavioral analyst. Marc Gilfry is a member of the rock band American Royalty and their songs are available on iTunes.
"We dance and we sing and it's really fun," said Rod Gilfry. "We're just a very musical, dynamic, energetic, loving family. We're just hoping to bring some of that to the people in the audience and raise some money for the library."
Follow @RanchoNow on Facebook and Twitter