The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra will be host to Top 10 recording artist Crystal Gayle on Saturday and internationally acclaimed soprano Christina Clark on Feb. 28 at their concerts at Powers Auditorium.
Crystal Gayle kicks off the Orchestra's midwinter program at 8 p.m. with her own songbook of No. 1 hits and a salute to Hoagy Carmichael during the Orchestra's Symphonic Valentine Pops concert.
Gayle has a shelf full of awards to go along with her extraordinary run of hit singles and albums. Gayle was named Country Music's Female Vocalist of the Year three times by the Academy of Country Music, twice by the Country Music Association and three times at the American Music Awards. She has won a Grammy and been named Favorite Female Country Video Artist.
Decades of hits: Gayle's way with a song is hardly surprising considering almost three decades of hits, including & quot;Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue, & quot; & quot;When I Dream, & quot; & quot;Talking in Your Sleep & quot; and & quot;Ready for the Times to Get Better. & quot; The first female country artist to achieve platinum-sales status, Gayle will warm up the winter evening performing her hits and dipping into her recently released CD, "The Heart and Soul of Hoagy Carmichael," to celebrate Carmichael's remarkable songwriting career.
Seventy years ago, Hoagland Howard Carmichael found a melody that enchanted the world. The melody was & quot;Stardust. & quot; It's arguably the most recorded song of all time, with more than 2,000 versions and translations into more than 30 languages since it was written in 1927. With & quot;Georgia on My Mind, & quot; Carmichael accomplished a rare feat of musicianship, capturing the imagination and hearts of an entire state. During his exceptional career, Hoagy Carmichael composed for radio, then movies. He won an Oscar in 1951 for his song & quot;In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening. & quot;
The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Isaiah Jackson, performs selections from the Rodgers and Hammerstein Broadway success "Oklahoma!" and Copland's ballet "Rodeo" during this third Pops concert of the season, underwritten in part by Metropolitan National Bank.
Soprano performance: Internationally acclaimed soprano Christina Clark joins the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra and Chorus led by Isaiah Jackson for the fifth concert of the Masterworks season Feb. 23 at Powers Auditorium at 8 p.m.
The Youngstown Symphony Chorus, directed by Don Megahan, joins Clark for the Francis Poulenc Gloria. Poulenc probably composed more from instinct and aural experience than any other major composer of the last century. He was a musical natural. His choral works, including the Gloria, written in 1959, drew from him some of the most ecstatic musical expressions he ever composed. This concert marks the first time the chorus has performed this work.
Clark joins the Orchestra in Samuel Barber's "Knoxville: Summer of 1915." American composer Samuel Barber was not one to follow the fashion of the hour, but rather an artist who was true to himself and achieved a mastery of his craft. In "Knoxville: Summer of 1915," one finds lyricism and evocative harmonic coloring.
The Feb. 23 musical offerings conclude with one of Debussy's perfect creations, "Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun," and Mozart's "Prague Symphony."
In the span of 36 years, Mozart composed nearly 50 symphonies and demonstrated a natural genius that probably has not had its equal in the history of music. Written in 1786, the Symphony No. 38 in D major titled & quot;The Prague & quot; received such a tumultuous response at its premiere that the audience could not be quieted until Mozart responded with improvisations at the piano.
The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra's Feb. 23 Masterworks concert is underwritten in part by Bank One.
Tickets for all YSO concerts are available by calling the box office at (330) 744-0264. Patrons are invited to visit the Web site at www.youngstownsymphony.com for additional information about February concerts and other upcoming events at Symphony Center.
XPatricia C. Syak is executive director of the Youngstown Symphony Society.