The program for this year's "Symphony at the Celebration" concert featuring the Grammy Award-winning Nashville Symphony will range from the macabre to the fantastic, with selections including the main title music from "Star Wars" and a tribute to George M. Cohan.
The concert will be held at 7 p.m. May 15 at Calsonic Arena on the Celebration grounds and will feature the Shelbyville Central High School Band, both on its own and, at the end of the evening, playing in tandem with the symphony. The Motlow College Jazz Ensemble will perform pre-concert and intermission entertainment.
The concert is casual-dress and family-friendly, with children and students admitted free of charge and adult general admission only $5. Tickets will be available starting in mid-April at Regions Bank locations in Shelbyville and Tullahoma.
Because the concert itself is paid for by sponsors, all ticket proceeds go to Bedford County Arts Council.
Regions Bank is the area-wide sponsor for the Nashville Symphony's community concert series; additional local sponsors, who are still being lined up, help support the Shelbyville concert.
The Nashville Symphony, under the direction of Albert-George Schram, will be making its first public appearance following a May 12 concert at New York City's Carnegie Hall.
Schram, a native of the Netherlands who conducts the symphony's pops concert series and holds the title resident conductor, is a local favorite for his humor and enthusiasm. He often refers to Calsonic Arena as "this horsey place" and last year made mischevious references to one of the arena's permanent sponsor signs advertising a horse breeding facility.
He also recruited a member from Cascade High School, last year's guest band, to help him lead the audience in the "Hand Jive" movements from the musical "Grease" as the orchestra played the number.
"It's not necessary to know anything about classical music to enjoy the concert," said Dawn Holley, who co-chairs the local steering committee for the event. "It's just beautiful music to listen to."
The evening will also feature an art show on the arena concourse and the return of the Nashville Symphony's "instrument petting zoo," which allows children to touch and try real symphonic instruments with the assistance of trained volunteers. Weather permitting, the petting zoo will be held outdoors, in front of the arena.
The program for the Nashville Symphony at year's concert will include several familiar melodies, although you may not know their names. Camille Saint-Saens' "Danse Macabre," Opus 40, for example, is the soundtrack to the tall-tale television commercials for Jameson's Irish Whiskey. Emmanuel Chabrier's "Espaņa" supplied the melody for the 1956 pop song "Hot Diggity (Dog Ziggity Boom)." Leonard Bernstein's overture to "Candide" was a theme song for Dick Cavett's TV show.
One melody familiar both by name and by sound is the main title for the "Star Wars" movies, by John Williams. It's one of two Williams compositions to be featured, the other one being Williams' "Liberty Fanfare."
The SCHS band, conducted by Kayne Gilliland, will play along with the symphony for three patriotic numbers at the end of the evening: Richard Hayman's "Servicemen On Parade," a medley saluting George M. Cohan, and -- as is traditional for the Shelbyville concert -- John Phillip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever."
The concert is completing its second rotation through the three local public high schools as guest artists. Traditionally, Schram invites one of the high school band members to take the piccolo solo during the joint performance of "Stars and Stripes Forever."
SCHS has not yet announced the program for its solo part of the concert, which will be just prior to intermission.
The Motlow jazz band, directed by Tom Breece, performs from 6-6:30 p.m. prior to the concert and then returns during intermission.
The symphony has been performing in Shelbyville annually, with only one or two exceptions, since 1989. What started as a simple symphony performance grew over the years to include guest artists, visual arts and other activities.
A steering committee including both local volunteers and Nashville Symphony staff members organizes the concert. Dawn Holley and T-G city editor John I. Carney are co-chairs of the committee.
For more information about the concert, go to http://lakeneuron.com/symphony or call 703-2292 or 842-4824.
"The Star-Spangled Banner," arr. by Smith
Prelude to "Die Meistersinger," Wagner
"Danse Macabre," Opus 40, Saint-Saens
Main title from "Star Wars," Williams
SHELBYVILLE CENTRAL HIGH SCHOOL BAND
Overture to "Candide," Bernstein
"Cuban Overture," Gershwin
"Liberty Fanfare," Williams
NASHVILLE SYMPHONY and SCHS BAND
"Servicemen on Parade," Hayman
"George M. Cohan Salute," Cohan, arr. by Hermann
"Stars and Stripes Forever," Sousa