Deb Spalding

The evening of November 15, 2014, was one to be remembered, as Thurmont native and international tenor, Richard Troxell, returned to his alma mater, Catoctin High School (CHS), to present—along with current students of the CHS music program—a world-class concert to benefit the Catoctin High School music program and the Thurmont Senior Center.

This benefit concert included operatic works in several different languages that Richard has sung in different characters, including “Quanto e bella” from l’eslier d’amore, “La Donna e mobile” from Rigoletto, and “Bring Him Home” from Les Miserables, as well as some show tunes and classics. Richard framed his concert around two universal elements that he experiences everywhere. “The first is love… I see everywhere I go, every country I am in, from Chili to Israel, from Taiwan to Beijing, from Italy to France to Canada to the United States. Everywhere I go, I see love… People wanting to be in love, I see people in love, and I see people who love has messed them up so much… The other thing I always see is music. It’s in every person’s life… It’s on your cell phone, on your alarm clock, when you wait on the phone to the cable company, it’s on everything… It’s a trillion dollar industry,” said Richard.

 The concert was peppered with Richard’s stories about love and music. He shared humorous personal stories about his childhood loves, and stories about how love changed as he grew into an adult.

Richard identified other CHS graduates who became famous in the entertainment business, including Neal (Angleberger) Coty, a singer-songwriter who now resides in Nashville; Susanne Mentzer, a mezzo soprano from Thurmont; Michael Gray, a drummer with the Lee Brice Band (he performed during this concert, along with the CHS band); Ann Perry, Dale Webster, Jimmy Rickard, Mickie Late, and many others. He acknowledged former teachers and mentors with gratitude. 

Richard taught a masters class to CHS students the day before the concert. CHS soprano soloist, Katelyn Claxton, said, “The concert was awesome and the masters class was amazing! We are really lucky to have had Mr. Troxell teach us.”

Claxton, Diana Burch (alto) and Taylor Zentz (soprano) also presented solos, and Cody Horman performed a guitar solo. The Jazz ensemble was joined by noted performers.

Music and Band teacher, Mr. Z (Zamostny), presented Richard with an honorary Tri-M National Music Honor Society life membership at CHS.

Special thanks was extended to piano accompanists Dr. Kathleen Taylor, Christine Merki, and Windy Schmidt. The evening’s financial sponsors included His Place Auto Repair, Mrs. Gail Frantz, and Mrs. Karen Graf (in loving memory of her husband.)

Richard chose this concert to officially release his new CD, So In Love. One dollar from every sale will benefit the CHS music program and the Thurmont Senior Center.  If you would like to be a donor to the CHS music program, please visit

“It doesn’t matter what kind of music we enjoy. We’re all connected,” expressed Richard.


Richard Troxell and his Russian accompanist took their bow with the CHS choral ensemble and bands at the end of the benefit concert at Catoctin High School.

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