The Beaufort Orchestra’s goin’ to Broadway and Hollywood for the final concerts of the 2007-008 concert season!!  Actually, those favorites, old and new, are coming to the stage of the USCB Performing Arts Center on May 8th and May 11th and we want YOU to be in the audience.  
Frederick Devyatkin, Musical Director of the orchestra, says music of today is built on the past – composers working on Broadway and in Hollywood just can’t help but be influenced by the legacy of Gilbert and Sullivan, Irving Berlin, Gershwin and a host of others who were wildly popular in their time.     Sir Arthur Sullivan, together with lyricist, W.S. Gilbert, wrote fourteen light operas, which commented on the fashion and politics of their times in late 19th century England.  The “patter songs” foreshadow those in modern show tunes today.  Interestingly enough, Sullivan, also the composer of the well-known hymn, ‘Onward Christian Soldiers’, expected to be remembered for his serious music, while history has borne out just the opposite! The Beaufort Orchestra will open the concert with his overture to ‘The Pirates of Penzance’.  Concertgoers will recognize the chorus by its more familiar words ‘Hail, Hail, The Gang’s All Here!’ Italian opera Verdi was the original composer of that tune which appears in the Anvil Chorus from Il Trovatore – ‘borrowing’ was legal and quite common with no copyright laws to contend with!
    Irving Berlin (b. Isadore Israel Beilin) was a self-taught pianist who never achieved more than a rudimentary ability to play.  But, what a genius he had for writing both the music and lyrics for hundreds of songs, which were popular in his time and still well loved today.  He arrived in New York City from Russia with his family in 1893, when he was five years old, the youngest of eight. His father served as a Jewish cantor, but also held menial jobs, and endured hard times trying to make enough for the family to live on. Irving ran away form home in his teens after the death of his father. He adopted his Americanized name when a publisher mistakenly wrote the wrong name on one of his early composition. His work in the music field had humble beginnings – first as a street musician and then a singer of popular songs in Tin Pan Alley, where he and many other struggling young folks were hired to help publicize new music materials.  
    Although he lived to be 101, he retired from composing in his 60’s.  Among his best-known songs are thosewhich the Beaufort Orchestra will play in  ‘Irving Berlin – A Symphonic Portrait’; There’s No Business Like Show Business, Alexander’s Ragtime Band, Easter Parade, White Christmas, and God Bless America.  
    As time goes by many Broadway musicals and Hollywood movies are best remembered for their musical scores rather than their stories.     
    Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to ‘Candide’ is a wonderful, rhythmically complex composition. Bernstein himself was not satisfied doing a few simple things very well.  Along with his huge talents as a composer, he premiered the idea of the Young Peoples’ Concerts and was regarded as a fine concert pianist. But he also cut a giant figure on the podium as he continued to build the reputation of the New York Philharmonic into one of the world’s great orchestras.
    The Beaufort Orchestra has a multi-talented musician sitting in its woodwind section – Bill Baker, who changes hats to play bassoon, saxophone, clarinet, or whatever fits his musical occasion or venue. He has arranged a medley of Johnny Mercer’s greatest hits especially for this concert. You’ll recognize Charade, Goody-Goody, Moon River and a host of others.
    The Beaufort Orchestra will also entertain concertgoers with music from some of the best-known shows of our time, chosen by Maestro Devyatkin because audiences just can’t get enough of those great tunes.  Among them are ‘A Chorus Line’, ‘Grease’, ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Phantom of the Opera’, and ‘Chicago’.
    The most recently written music on the concert program will be highlights from the Broadway musical, ‘Wicked’, which won a bundle of Tony Awards for its stars and composer/lyricist, Stephen Schwartz.  Schwartz has found much success with his craft beginning in the 70’s with memorable hits, Godspell and Pippin.  In addition to his interests on Broadway, he spends a good deal of time on musical projects in Hollywood and is presently at work on an opera.
    The Maestro will end the Beaufort Orchestra’s concert with Leroy Anderson’s ‘The Typewriter’. He has vowed to locate one of those now obsolete keyboards, as well as someone who knows how to type and ring the bell!!  
    The Beaufort Orchestra in Concert
May 8th, Thursday Evening, 8:00 P.M.
May 11th, Sunday Matinee, 3:00 P.M.
    Reserved seating available through Beaufort Regional Chamber of Commerce, 1106 Carteret Street, Beaufort Phone 843-986-5400, Ext 34 Single tickets – $25  Youth through High School -$5  All concerts are held at the USCB Performing Arts Auditorium, 801 Carteret Street, Beaufort Remaining tickets at the door if available
    Subscription forms for the 2008-2009 season will be available at the concert and at The Chamber of Commerce beginning May 8.