KEVIN BENNETT - Guitar & Vocals
To me, Christmas is special for bringing family & friends together.
I've been playing guitar since I was about 10 years old. I've played in various bands throughout the years. Besides performing in First Snow, I also play lead guitar & mandolin in Straight On - a Tribute to the Music of Heart. Both bands are my family & I couldn't think of a better gift than playing with them & for you my friends.
ABOUT THE MUSICIANS
KITRAEL CHIN - Keyboards
Kitrael Chin caught the piano bug at age 7. Since then he has performed professionally in Singapore, Canada and the USA. In addition to the piano, Kitrael enjoys playing the flute, trumpet, guitar and whacking away at his drum set. Kitrael is a Board-Certified Music Therapist and currently runs Musical Fingers LLC, an Ohio music company for children with special needs.
In his spare time, Kitrael is an avid snowboarder. Kitrael joined First Snow as their keyboardist in 2013 and is proud to be part of this truly remarkable Trans-Siberian Orchestra Tribute Band.
- Backing & Lead Vocals
Michelle started singing at an early age. She performed in various talent shows and school musicals. Michelle received a BFA in Musical Threatre from Kent State University. These days she is the lead vocalist for Invincible, Northeast Ohio’s Premier Pat Benatar Tribute. Michelle is honored to join the First Snow family
CHRIS EMIG - Backing & Lead Vocals
Chris developed a love for live music at an early age. The power, emotions and dynamics of classic rock, hard rock and heavy metal spoke loudly to her. Chris started her musical career with cover bands and sang everything from Led Zeppelin, to Melissa Etheridge, to Black Sabbath and Dio. She later pursued original music and was in a metal band called Cellbound, which had a great 8 year run. Chris gained a loyal fan base through her energetic and passionate performances and tireless work ethic. Cellbound performed at many festivals and toured through out the surrounding states. Currently she sings in an original metal band called Olathia. You can catch Olathia at venues throughout Cleveland and Akron, at festivals and on the road as well! Being a long time TSO/Savatage fan, she is excited to join forces with the talented musicians in First Snow. Terry Johnson, Olathia’s bass player, has also joined as a vocalist.
DREW SODEE - Drums
Drew learned to play guitar along with his brother as kids & then focused on drums so they could work together in their own band. Self-taught & heavily influenced by Rush & progressive metal bands over the years have helped to define his style of playing.
Current musical projects include: Straight On - a Tribute to the Music of Heart, Fallen Angel, Ego & also performing with other local bands at times. Drew endorses Soultone Cymbals.
DENNY ARCHER - Drums
DENNY ARCHER is a drummer from Kent, OH, who has been one of the most respected musicians in NE Ohio for over 3 decades. Projects he has been a member of include the original bands Ravenslaye, Reign, Fangs Divine, and Axemaster (recording label released albums with Reign and Axemaster), and the tribute bands Eddie (Iron Maiden), Live Evil (Dio/Sabbath), and Stupify (Disturbed); the latter 2 being current. Furthermore, for several years, Denny has also played a number of shows as a member of Tim "Ripper" Owens' live band. During his career, Denny has shared the stage with such notable acts as Quiet Riot, Sebastian Bach, Gilby Clark, Overkill, Flotsam and Jetsam, Riot, Grim Reaper, and Tony MacAlpine.
TERRY JOHNSON- Backing & Lead Vocals
Terry is excited to join the talented cast of First Snow! For the better part of two decades, the Trans-Siberian experience has cemented its place in his family’s home as the soundtrack to the holiday season. Terry is beyond honored to contribute to the legacy of such a powerful music force by playing a roll in this tribute.
Terry is active in the Midwest music scene as a singer, songwriter, and musician in several acts ranging musical theater, Celtic, funk, rock, punk, and heavy metal. When the Siberian sleigh-ride subsides, you can catch a concert with Terry “Bull” and Chris E. as they perform with Olathia. Terry wishes all of the First Snow friends and family a wonderful holiday season and looks forward to bringing the magic of TSO to the stage.
Monique is a self-taught vocalist & has been singing since a very young age. She was inspired by Classic Rock, R&B, Hard Rock & Heavy Metal vocalists/bands which is where she honed in on her vocal style. At 16, she had her first taste of performing solo in front of a live audience in her high school talent show where she performed her rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You".
In here early 20's she started performing at karaoke events & also even winning a karaoke contest. After winning the karaoke competition, she wanted to start working on forming a Heart Tribute Band. She put a flyer up in a local music shop & Kevin Bennett answered the ad. Monique & Kevin have performed in several musical projects together, such as The Division Bell - a Tribute to Pink Floyd (backing vocalist), Rivendell Lost (lead vocalist) & currently; Straight On - A Tribute to the Music of Heart (lead vocalist), & also now, First Snow - a Tribute to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (backing & lead vocalist).
- Backing & Lead Vocals
ARASH "RAJ" GHAHREMANI
Raj grew up in Orange Village and started playing the violin at the age of 9. His father and grandfather both also play and played violin growing up in the Middle East region of the World. He took Suzuki-style violin lessons for 11 years and went to Kent State University. There he was one of the first students to get a partial scholarship as a non-music major. He was a part of the KSU symphony orchestra for his college years. After college he took a break from music to raise his family and after this he got back into playing music. “Country music was the only station i could get on my AM radio on my first pickup lol….” Listening to country helped him in directing his music into this genre. Playing out with many country bands throughout the years helped him decide to start Rte 212. He hand-picked these musicians to join him and the band has been playing high quality covers from traditional to more modern influences. All the different music experiences and hundreds of musicians on stage over 30+ years playing the Violin or now Fiddle has helped him learn and evolve his craft into something unique and special on stage…..
KATHERINE KELLEY O'NEILL
Katherine O'Neill studied piano age 8, Violin age 10, by 12 she was playing music by ear. She holds degrees in Classical and Jazz Studies from Youngstown State University (M.M.), and Baldwin Wallace Conservatory (B.M.). She has performed with Barry Manilow, Earth Wind & Fire, the Transiberian Orchestra, Idris Phillips, JR Bruno Big Band, South Florida Symphony Orchestra, West Virginia Symphony Orchestra, Cleveland Opera, Opera Western Reserve, Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, Warren Philharmonic Orchestra, Ohio Valley Symphony, among others
JERRY GARNSEY - Guitar
Jerry Garnsey is joining First Snow this season on guitar. He is the lead guitarist in local metal band Wrath Icon currently working on their first full length album. He has been the lead guitarist for Bendsinister, Blackened(Metallica tribute), The Issue and Everhard. Jerry is a big fan of 80's metal and also SRV, Joe Bonamassa and Jimi Hendrix. He enjoys collecting and working on guitars as well as photography.
BRIAN BRIGGS - Bass
Brian started playing guitar and bass in high school. He started to focus on bass 2005 in MATD and formed the Divison Bell Pink Floyd Tribute Band. Brian has also played 2nd keys for First Snow in 2010, continued with The Show Must Go On until 2013. & is currently performing in his GreenR DayZ Tribute and excited to be back in First Snow!
DAN CAMERON- Backing & Lead Vocals
Dan Cameron is in his first year as a vocalist with First Snow. He has been active in music for 20 years, and has fronted the Cleveland-based metal band Bound by Fate for the last 11 years. Dan says he became involved in music because it's been a form of self expression, and a healthy release for him, and he enjoys entertaining people and making them smile. He is an avid Indians and Browns fan, loves everything Halloween and is a haunted house set designer and actor.
These are the folks behind the scenes helping to bring you the First Snow show! From lights, video, sound & stage crew... these guys are the backbone of the production!