Over a decade ago, Eric (Rick) Montgomery heard an "angelic voice" singing a solo at church. He hadn't heard a voice like that since he was a child, when his mother would sing and encourage her children to do the same.
He discovered the mystery singer's name: Ruby. And as it so happened, Rick played the piano, and had quite a singing voice as well.
He introduced himself, and the rest, as they say, is history.
Married for thirteen years now, Rick and Ruby Montgomery have finally realized a dream and opened up a small performing arts venue in Snellville.
Exposé, an intimate, family-friendly arts and entertainment venue, will host live performances of aspiring and current artists. And, on Friday nights, the couple will serenade the audience with their own smooth, heartfelt music.
"This gives us an opportunity to do what we love," said Rick, "and to help others in our community out here in Snellville. We want to provide entertainment for the entire family -- moms, dads and children -- and to allow people a chance to realize and pursue their dreams."
Professionally, Rick works in database administration, while Ruby teaches middle school in John's Creek. Rick is also retired from the Air Force, where he served for 23 years. This is their first business venture, although they have been performing together for years. In fact, they wrote and performed the theme song for Roswell's Relay for Life luminary ceremony.
Ruby, who was Miss Atlanta in 1991, has played the lead role in a number of performances, including the role of Effie in a production of Dreamgirls. And while she is fully confident in her ability as a singer, she regrets not pursuing another form of art -- dance.
"I was able to get by with my singing," she said, "but there were days I cried during Dreamgirls, because I was the lead but I couldn’t dance!"
If she could have foretold the way the music industry was going, she would have built that skill, because "there are jobs you won’t get because you can’t dance."
That is something she hopes to teach students who take classes during the week at the theater. All of her students will perform each week and will learn a wide variety of performing arts.
"Long gone are the days that you’re just a singer or just a dancer," she added. "You cut yourself down if you put yourself into one of those pockets."
If you're interested in performing at Exposé auditions will be held on Feb. 16. This weekend, Feb. 9, the venue will host a formal Valentine's Ball.