Orchestra unveils season

Staff report


The Youngstown Symphony Orchestra’s 2017-18 season will include some majestic visuals, Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” and tributes to Journey and Ella Fitzgerald.

Led by Music Director Randall Craig Fleischer, the lineup will include four classical concerts and three pops shows at Powers Auditorium and Ford Family Recital Hall, plus three free Stained Glass Series concerts at local houses of worship. Tickets are on sale at youngstownsymphony.com.

The season will start Sept. 16 with “Faithfully,” a symphonic tribute to pop rock band Journey that will feature the hits “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Open Arms” “Any Way You Want It” and “Faithfully.”

The other pops concerts will be the annual Christmas concert Dec. 2, featuring song-and-dance duo Kirby and Beverly Ward.

The third and final pops performance will be Feb. 10, when the YSO presents “A Tribute to Ella Fitzgerald.” The program will feature her (and other jazz divas’) greatest hits sung by Broadway performer Capathia Jenkins.

The classical concerts will start with “Oktoberfest” on Oct. 7, featuring Beethoven, Brahms and beer. A beer-tasting event in the Powers lobby will precede the concert, which will include Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 3, featuring pianist (and Youngstown State University music professor) Caroline Oltmanns; Brahms’ “Academic Festival Overture” and Hungarian Dance No. 5 and 6; and Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyrie.”

Next will be the Grofe Grand Canyon Suite, performed against a backdrop of panoramic photos of the canyon. The concert will also include Copland’s “Four Dance Episodes” from his ballet “Rodeo”; John Williams’ “Summon the Heroes”; and Samuel Barber’s “Second Essay.”

On March 10, The orchestra will move to adjacent Ford Family Recital Hall for its only show of the year in the small venue, to present Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” with concertmaster Rachel Stegeman as solo violinist and local newscaster Stan Boney narrating the accompanying sonnets. The YSO will also perform Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 5.

The final classics concert will be April 14, 2018, when the YSO and its youth orchestra present Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 4 and Elgar’s “Enigma Variations.”

The Stained Glass Series concerts, featuring vocalist Tania Grubbs and the YSO Chamber Orchestra, will be Sept. 17 at St. John; Oct. 8 at St. Rose Catholic Church in Girard; and Nov. 5 at Congregation Rodef Shalom.

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