When the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's annual shows in Columbus conclude, one member of the band will stay behind.
Violinist and motivational speaker Roddy Chong will make an appearance Dec. 31 during the 10 a.m. service at Beechwold Christian Church, 280 Morse Road.
Chong will perform solo pieces and help the church's worship team lead music; he'll also share his testimony with those who attend, an announcement from the church said.
Admission is free. The church's doors open at 9:30 a.m. and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis.
Chong, who once toured simultaneously with Shania Twain and Celine Dion, took up motivational speaking after carving out a music career, even though not many rock bands or country-music acts were open to Chinese violin players, according to his website.
"By intertwining artistic abilities, creativity and a passionate attitude with (his) intellect, Roddy has crystallized a speaking experience that has never been witnessed before," the site states.
The Rev. Brian Clark, associate minister at Beechwold Christian Church, said Chong was recommended to him -- both as a performer and speaker -- by the Rev. Dan Stoffer of Eastpointe Christian Church in Blacklick following an Oct. 1 appearance there.
"I didn't really dismiss it, but kind of put it on the back burner," Clark said.
But he and the Rev. Jeff MacMullen, Beechwold's worship minister, realized Chong would be in Columbus for the Trans-Siberian Orchestra's yearly appearance, with two shows Dec. 30 at Nationwide Arena.
The ministers figured booking Chong might become more affordable if he was already in the area.
"Jeff and I emailed Roddy Chong through his website and he emailed back and we ended up in a phone interview," Clark said. "What we liked about it, he was really focused on kind of two things: one was showcasing his talents and showing what God had given him; and, second, to kind of jump-start the new year, the resolutions and all of that. He really wants people to say, 'Now, how can I take that message back and improve my life?' "
"It really struck me that he was focused on how the church can reach the community and make an impact on people's lives," MacMullen said. "It's something that we're really focusing on at the church ... so we felt like his vision for what he does and his goal really fits the mission of the church."
Anticipation has been building among members of the Clintonville church ever since Chong's appearance was announced.
"People are really excited about it," MacMullen said. "Honestly, I think there was probably a time where people were stunned: 'How did you pull this off?' I think there's a good group of people at the church who are ready to invest in events like this."
"I know the first time we ever mentioned this to the congregation publicly was just a short little blurb while I was preaching one Sunday," Clark recalled. "Everybody looked up, like, 'Wait, what did I just hear?' "