A Christmas Story of the Detective with the Golden Voice Thursday, December 22, 2011
Ricky Manning cut an impressive figure as he arrived in uniform on the Heinz Hall stage and joined Marvin Hamlisch in front of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. The Point Park alum bantered with the famed conductor about law enforcement then sang "Danny Boy" to the orchestra's accompaniment and "I'll be Home for Christmas" a cappella.
The Holiday Pops crowd gave Manning a warm reception, including when he dedicated his performance "to the memory of fallen police officers whose families can only be with them in spirit during the holiday season."
Manning is a detective with the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office. He earned his B.S. in law enforcement from Point Park University in 2006 and has been with the Sheriff's Office a total of 13 years. Away from the office he is a vocalist, guitarist, percussionist and highland bagpiper.
Manning sings a wide variety of music from rock, folk, classical and Celtic styles. His performance of "Danny Boy" at a funeral several years ago so impressed Cynthia DeAlmeida, the principal oboist with Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, that she recommended him to Marvin Hamlisch. The conductor relayed the story to the crowd during the Highmark Holiday Pops concert.
Manning called the entire opportunity "amazing."
"To have the chance to work with the renowned Marvin Hamlisch and the world class Pittsburgh Symphony was just incredible," he said.
The conductor noted Manning's Point Park degree when introducing the vocalist.
This year Hamlisch is distinguished master artist in residence in the Conservatory of Performing Arts. In late January he will present a third workshop exclusively for Point Park students, this one focusing on his work composing music for films.
Watch a WTAE-TV interview featuring Marvin Hamlisch and Ricky Manning on Manning's new website, www.rickymanningmusic.com.