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PATRICIA C. SYAK | Symphony notes Series pops with a potpourri of nostalgia



Published: Sun, May 20, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Better than a dozen roses and longer lasting is a subscription to the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra 2001-02 Pops Series.

A bouquet of musical stars from Broadway and country music join an eclectic brass and percussion sextet in rousing salutes to show biz divas, big bands, holiday perennials and the immortal Hoagy Carmichael.

Broadway star: Linda Eder, star of Broadway's "Jekyll & amp; Hyde," "The Scarlet Pimpernel" and "The Civil War," kicks off the John W. and Dorothy B. Ford Pops Series on Nov. 3 at Powers Auditorium. For those who missed the era when towering divas such as Judy Garland and Ella Fitzgerald set the standard, Eder is cause for celebration.

"A pop diva for the new millennium," states the Chicago Tribune. Listening to recording artist and Broadway and concert star Eder is to be reminded of the tradition of the great female popular singers. Combining supreme musical intelligence, precise and enacting intonation, and a soaring, extraordinary voice, Eder evokes the spirit of the legendary interpreters of American popular music while at the same time achieving a style that is uniquely and distinctively her own.

Sponsorship for "Broadway ... and More" with Linda Eder is provided by The DeBartolo Corp. -- John and Denise York.

Holiday season: Combining six virtuosi on trumpets, horn, piano, trombone, tuba and percussion, Rhythm & amp; Brass heralds the season with the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and Isaiah Jackson on Dec. 1 in a program of holiday favorites. With effortless grace and compelling insight, Rhythm & amp; Brass performs music for the mind as well as the heart, always leaving listeners wanting more. Back by popular demand, Rhythm & amp; Brass presents a show-stopping, crowd pleasing performance with plenty of pizazz.

"Beyond category" was a term the great Duke Ellington used as the highest form of praise for those artists who transcended normal boundaries. Rhythm & amp; Brass lives up to the ideal of a musical presentation that is not bound by time, geography or culture.

With the unique ability to incorporate influences as divergent as Josquin Des Prez, Pink Floyd, Johann Sebastian Bach and Duke Ellington, Rhythm & amp; Brass searches for the commonality in these influences and fearlessly weaves them all into the concert experience.

The Dec. 1 concert, "Holiday Rhythms," is presented with underwriting support provided by Parker Hydraulics.

Crystal Gayle: Country cross-over star Crystal Gayle and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra pay tribute to the Carmichael Centenary and Valentines Day, on Feb. 9, 2002.

From the immortal "Stardust" to "One Morning in May" and the lively ""Lazy River," Crystal Gayle serenades us with the "Heart and Soul" of Hoagy Carmichael.

Crystal Gayle grew up in Indiana and remembers always being a fan of the great Hoosier composer Hoagy Carmichael. From the immortal "Stardust," probably the most recorded song ever with over 1,400 versions, to "Two Sleepy People," originally performed by Bob Hope and Shirley Ross in the film "Thanks for the Memory," Gayle will weave her signature styling through the broad landscape that was Hoagy's gift.

Although best known for his hit song "Stardust," Carmichael was a prolific, versatile composer for all seasons and for all voices. Besides being a master composer of such lyrical standards as "The Nearness of You" and "Skylark," Carmichael projected the image of a breezy, eminently likable character, glib, funny and loyal.

He was almost always seen wearing a hat, avoiding ties or any sign of formality and most often dangling a cigarette from his lips as he sat at the keyboard.

The "Symphonic Valentine" concert February 9 is presented in conjunction with Metropolitan National Bank.

Big-band sound: An exciting fun-filled evening of your favorite big-band hits featuring such tunes as "Sing, Sing, Sing," "Serenade in Blue," "One O'clock Jump" and many more with vocalist Monica Cantrell and Sam Gibson from "Sophisticated Ellington" concludes the Pops Series April 6, 2002.

Songs from such legendary bands as Glenn Miller, Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, Count Basie, Benny Goodman, Harry James and Artie Shaw combined with Sinatra's "New York, New York," Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable" and Judy Garland's "Come Rain or Come Shine" will put you "In The Mood" to "Begin the Beguine" because "It Don't Mean a Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing."

The big band era was a wonderfully vibrant time in American popular culture. The country was coming into its own as a nation with its own style. Inevitably the big band style would find expression in other musical forms.

"One O'clock Jump" gave way to "Rock Around the Clock," and dance halls succumbed to television, but on April 6, the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra takes a "Sentimental Journey" down memory lane with a tune-filled evening that will not soon be forgotten.

Sponsorship for the "Bravo Big Bands" concert is provided by the William B. Pollock Foundation.

XFor subscriptions to the Orchestra's Pops Series, call the Symphony Center box office at (330) 744-0264.




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