Topilow to conduct YSO pops concert

Staff report


Carl Topilow will be the guest conductor for the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra’s “Symphonic Valentine” pops concert Saturday at Powers Auditorium.

The concert will consist of Broadway show tunes and timeless Gershwin classics, including “Rhapsody in Blue” performed by guest pianist Kathryn Brown. Featured vocalists will be Lisa Vroman and J. Mark McVey.

Vroman is a frequent guest artist at theater and opera companies and orchestras with a repertoire ranging from classical to the Broadway stage. She starred for several years as Christine Daae in the Broadway production of “The Phantom of the Opera.” She debuted on Broadway in “Aspects of Love” and was the first to play both Fantine and Cosette in “Les Miserables.”

Another veteran of “Les Miserables,” McVey, made his Broadway debut as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” after having won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Actor while in Washington, D.C., with the show. He also was the first American to perform the role in London. A favorite tenor of the late Marvin Hamlisch, McVey performed with Hamlisch and the Youngstown Symphony Orchestra in December 2006.

Topilow, who performed with the orchestra last season, is a versatile conductor and engaging clarinetist. The music director of the Cleveland Pops and National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado, he also is conductor and director of the orchestra program at Cleveland Institute of Music.

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