Area residents will have a chance to see a nationally touring artist in Washington on Feb. 8 at the Washington High School auditorium. Indiana native and mainstream pop/rock singer/songwriter Jon McLaughlin will take the stage at 7 p.m. for the concert that will benefit the Washington High School choral arts program.
WHS choir director Scott Griffith, a fan of the Hoosier performer, reached out to McLaughlin to see if he would be interested in doing a show locally to help raise funds for the choir.
"He's a success story out of Indiana. Jon's music is fantastic," said Griffith. "Our students are really excited about the concert."
Hailing from Anderson, McLaughlin graduated from Highland High School and attended Anderson University where he studied music. He was the first artist to sign with the Anderson student-run Orangehaus Records where he also released his first album in 2003. McLaughlin made an appearance to sing the title song "So Close" from the 2007 Disney film "Enchanted," a film that was nominated for an Oscar. McLaughlin was also honored with performing "So Close" at the 80th Academy Awards. He has had hits with songs on the pop charts such as "Beautiful Disaster" and "Beating My Heart." Since then, he has been touring with Kelly Clarkson and Sara Bareilles, and has performed with Jason Mraz, co-wrote music for Demi Lovato and had a role on the Jay Leno Show.
Griffith said while all the details are not currently worked out, he hopes that McLaughlin may be available to do a master class with the students in choir.
"The students have so much they could learn from him about the music business," Griffith said. "We aren't sure if it will be possible yet but even just having him perform here will be a great experience for the students."