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Experience the sound of Big Band era at TCC VanTrease PAC

The Signature Symphony Pops plays the hits from the Big Band era on Friday and Sataruday, March 13-14 at Tulsa Community College VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education. The symphony begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the event can be purchased at myticketoffice.com.

Big Band music has its own place in America’s Heartland. Tours along Oklahoma’s Route 66 brought us the likes of Count Basie and the Blue Devils, Woody Herman, and Stan Kenton. You won’t want to miss the Signature Big Band in a cavalcade of stars from the Big Band era.

About the Signature Symphony The Signature Symphony at TCC was formed in 1978 as a small professional chamber orchestra, the Tulsa Little Symphony, under the direction of founding artistic director and conductor Dr. G. Barry Epperley.  The small chamber orchestra grew, changing its name to the Oklahoma Sinfonia, and performed in venues and at events throughout Tulsa and Oklahoma. Eventually, the Sinfonia became the house orchestra for Tulsa’s Brady Theater, where it not only performed with renowned guest artists but also presented a series of pops and light classics concerts  each year. A move to Tulsa Community College in 1996 paved the way for further orchestral development for the Sinfonia. As the professional orchestra-in-residence for TCC’s Performing Arts Center for Education, the orchestra soon began offering both a Pops and a Classics concert series as part of its regular season. Expanded concert seasons afforded the opportunity to add more players, more instruments, and more diversity and complexity in the orchestra’s repertoire.   In 2001, the orchestra officially changed its name to Signature Symphony at TCC and broadened its Higher Scale Music Education Outreach program. Higher Scale operates as a partnership between Signature Symphony, Tulsa Public Schools and Tulsa Community College to take music education and experiences into elementary schools where music programs otherwise would not exist. Twice each week, professional Signature Symphony musicians teach viola, violin and cello to third, fourth and fifth grade students in 12 Tulsa Public Schools. In addition, the Signature Quartet performs at elementary, middle and high schools, and the orchestra provides free rehearsal look-ins for students each season along with free ticket offers for classics performances.  As it prepares to begin its next chapter under a new Artistic Director and Conductor, Signature Symphony at TCC includes 70 professional musicians who not only perform with the orchestra but also teach and coach music students at TCC, other colleges and universities, and various public and private schools and studios through the area.  The Signature Symphony is also committed to mentoring opportunities for student musicians. For selected performances over the years, outstanding collegiate and high school student musicians have had the opportunity to perform side-by-side with Signature Symphony’s professional players. For many of those students, these performing experiences have contributed to further educational opportunities at The Juilliard School, the Shepherd School of Music (Rice), the Oklahoma Philharmonic, the former Tulsa Philharmonic, the U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., and the New World Symphony. For more information vist signaturesymphony.org. Tickets can be purchased at  myticketoffice.com

Richard Wagner Guest Conductor at TCC VanTrease PAC

The Signature Symphony Pops welcomes Richard Wagner Guest Conductor on Saturday February 14th for a special Valentine’s day concert at Tulsa Community College VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education. The symphony begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the event can be purchased at myticketoffice.com.

Valentine’s Day can only bring you music of love.  From the lush sounds of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 21 (Elvira Madigan) and Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini by Rachmaninov, to the music of Borodin’s Prince Igor – a theme of which became a love song hit on Broadway 65 years later – this promises to be a night when love abounds.

Featured works, “Music of Love to Share with your Love,” include:

 Saint-Saens - Bacchanale from Samson and DelilahBorodin – In the Steppes of Central AsiaFaure - PavaneMozart - Piano Concerto No. 21 (Elvira Madigan), 2nd movementRachmaninov - Rhapsody on a Theme of PaganiniDelius – Calinda from KoangaKhachaturian - Adagio from SpartacusMascagni - Intermezzo from Cavalleria RusticanaElgar - Salute du amourBorodin - Polovetsian Dances

Guest Artist:  Yun-Chin Zhou, piano

Valentine’s Fundraiser Dinner before the performance

About the Signature Symphony The Signature Symphony at TCC was formed in 1978 as a small professional chamber orchestra, the Tulsa Little Symphony, under the direction of founding artistic director and conductor Dr. G. Barry Epperley.  The small chamber orchestra grew, changing its name to the Oklahoma Sinfonia, and performed in venues and at events throughout Tulsa and Oklahoma. Eventually, the Sinfonia became the house orchestra for Tulsa’s Brady Theater, where it not only performed with renowned guest artists but also presented a series of pops and light classics concerts  each year. A move to Tulsa Community College in 1996 paved the way for further orchestral development for the Sinfonia. As the professional orchestra-in-residence for TCC’s Performing Arts Center for Education, the orchestra soon began offering both a Pops and a Classics concert series as part of its regular season. Expanded concert seasons afforded the opportunity to add more players, more instruments, and more diversity and complexity in the orchestra’s repertoire.   In 2001, the orchestra officially changed its name to Signature Symphony at TCC and broadened its Higher Scale Music Education Outreach program. Higher Scale operates as a partnership between Signature Symphony, Tulsa Public Schools and Tulsa Community College to take music education and experiences into elementary schools where music programs otherwise would not exist. Twice each week, professional Signature Symphony musicians teach viola, violin and cello to third, fourth and fifth grade students in 12 Tulsa Public Schools. In addition, the Signature Quartet performs at elementary, middle and high schools, and the orchestra provides free rehearsal look-ins for students each season along with free ticket offers for classics performances.  As it prepares to begin its next chapter under a new Artistic Director and Conductor, Signature Symphony at TCC includes 70 professional musicians who not only perform with the orchestra but also teach and coach music students at TCC, other colleges and universities, and various public and private schools and studios through the area.  The Signature Symphony is also committed to mentoring opportunities for student musicians. For selected performances over the years, outstanding collegiate and high school student musicians have had the opportunity to perform side-by-side with Signature Symphony’s professional players. For many of those students, these performing experiences have contributed to further educational opportunities at The Juilliard School, the Shepherd School of Music (Rice), the Oklahoma Philharmonic, the former Tulsa Philharmonic, the U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., and the New World Symphony. For more information vist signaturesymphony.org. Tickets can be purchased at  myticketoffice.com

Andres Franco conducts the Music of John Williams at TCC VanTrease PAC

The Signature Symphony Pops welcomes Andres Franco as he conducts the music of John Williams both Friday and Saturday, February 6th -7th  at Tulsa Community College VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education. The symphony begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the event can be purchased at myticketoffice.com.

America’s brightest Star composer may indeed be John Williams (41 Oscar nominations, 20+ gold and platinum recordings). Whether early works you may not recognize as his (like theme from the pilot of Gilligan’s Island) to Star Wars, Superman or Harry Potter, the musical magic of John Williams enchants, inspires, and carries us away.

Featured works will be movie music themes of John Williams including:

 The Cowboys Overture        Raiders March from Raiders of the Lost Ark          Suite from Jaws: The Shark Theme              Selections from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone                 Theme from Schindler’s ListFlying Theme from from E. T. (The Extra-Terrestrial)       Olympic Fanfare and Theme         Hymn to the Fallen from Saving Private Ryan         The People’s House from Lincoln       Main Title from Superman           Star Wars Suite for Orchestra         

 About the Signature Symphony

The Signature Symphony at TCC was formed in 1978 as a small professional chamber orchestra, the Tulsa Little Symphony, under the direction of founding artistic director and conductor Dr. G. Barry Epperley.  The small chamber orchestra grew, changing its name to the Oklahoma Sinfonia, and performed in venues and at events throughout Tulsa and Oklahoma. Eventually, the Sinfonia became the house orchestra for Tulsa’s Brady Theater, where it not only performed with renowned guest artists but also presented a series of pops and light classics concerts  each year. A move to Tulsa Community College in 1996 paved the way for further orchestral development for the Sinfonia. As the professional orchestra-in-residence for TCC’s Performing Arts Center for Education, the orchestra soon began offering both a Pops and a Classics concert series as part of its regular season. Expanded concert seasons afforded the opportunity to add more players, more instruments, and more diversity and complexity in the orchestra’s repertoire.   In 2001, the orchestra officially changed its name to Signature Symphony at TCC and broadened its Higher Scale Music Education Outreach program. Higher Scale operates as a partnership between Signature Symphony, Tulsa Public Schools and Tulsa Community College to take music education and experiences into elementary schools where music programs otherwise would not exist. Twice each week, professional Signature Symphony musicians teach viola, violin and cello to third, fourth and fifth grade students in 12 Tulsa Public Schools. In addition, the Signature Quartet performs at elementary, middle and high schools, and the orchestra provides free rehearsal look-ins for students each season along with free ticket offers for classics performances.  As it prepares to begin its next chapter under a new Artistic Director and Conductor, Signature Symphony at TCC includes 70 professional musicians who not only perform with the orchestra but also teach and coach music students at TCC, other colleges and universities, and various public and private schools and studios through the area.  The Signature Symphony is also committed to mentoring opportunities for student musicians. For selected performances over the years, outstanding collegiate and high school student musicians have had the opportunity to perform side-by-side with Signature Symphony’s professional players. For many of those students, these performing experiences have contributed to further educational opportunities at The Juilliard School, the Shepherd School of Music (Rice), the Oklahoma Philharmonic, the former Tulsa Philharmonic, the U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., and the New World Symphony. For more information vist signaturesymphony.org. Tickets can be purchased at myticketoffice.com

Michael Rossi conducting Verdi, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky at TCC VanTrease PAC

The Signature Symphony Pops will kick off the new year with Michael Rossie conducting Verdi, Dvorak and Tchaikovsky on Saturday, January 24th at  Tulsa Community College VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education. The symphony begins at 7:30 pm. Tickets for the event  can be purchased at myticketoffice.com.

Forces of fate resonate in this concert, ranging from Verdi’s La Forza del Destino to the Cello Concerto that lay untouched for years by Antonin Dvorak. The evening concludes with Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony, the Symphony of Fate.

Featured works: 

           Verdi’s Overture to La forza del destino

          Tchaikovsky’s 5th Symphony

          Dvorak’s Cello Concerto

 Guest artist:  Joshua Roman, cello

Rehearsal “Look-In” Thursday, January 22 from 6:30 to 8:00 pm

About the Signature Symphony

The Signature Symphony at TCC was formed in 1978 as a small professional chamber orchestra, the Tulsa Little Symphony, under the direction of founding artistic director and conductor Dr. G. Barry Epperley.  The small chamber orchestra grew, changing its name to the Oklahoma Sinfonia, and performed in venues and at events throughout Tulsa and Oklahoma. Eventually, the Sinfonia became the house orchestra for Tulsa’s Brady Theater, where it not only performed with renowned guest artists but also presented a series of pops and light classics concerts  each year. A move to Tulsa Community College in 1996 paved the way for further orchestral development for the Sinfonia. As the professional orchestra-in-residence for TCC’s Performing Arts Center for Education, the orchestra soon began offering both a Pops and a Classics concert series as part of its regular season. Expanded concert seasons afforded the opportunity to add more players, more instruments, and more diversity and complexity in the orchestra’s repertoire.   In 2001, the orchestra officially changed its name to Signature Symphony at TCC and broadened its Higher Scale Music Education Outreach program. Higher Scale operates as a partnership between Signature Symphony, Tulsa Public Schools and Tulsa Community College to take music education and experiences into elementary schools where music programs otherwise would not exist. Twice each week, professional Signature Symphony musicians teach viola, violin and cello to third, fourth and fifth grade students in 12 Tulsa Public Schools. In addition, the Signature Quartet performs at elementary, middle and high schools, and the orchestra provides free rehearsal look-ins for students each season along with free ticket offers for classics performances.  As it prepares to begin its next chapter under a new Artistic Director and Conductor, Signature Symphony at TCC includes 70 professional musicians who not only perform with the orchestra but also teach and coach music students at TCC, other colleges and universities, and various public and private schools and studios through the area.  The Signature Symphony is also committed to mentoring opportunities for student musicians. For selected performances over the years, outstanding collegiate and high school student musicians have had the opportunity to perform side-by-side with Signature Symphony’s professional players. For many of those students, these performing experiences have contributed to further educational opportunities at The Juilliard School, the Shepherd School of Music (Rice), the Oklahoma Philharmonic, the former Tulsa Philharmonic, the U.S. Marine Band in Washington, D.C., and the New World Symphony. For more information vist signaturesymphony.org. Tickets can be purchased at myticketoffice.com

Il Divo at The Brady Theater

Saturday April 26th Il Divo to play the Brady Theater.  

This year Il Divo, the genre-busting singing troupe that straddles the worlds of pop and classical music, celebrates their 10th Anniversary. David, Carlos, Urs and Sebastien, - four different nationalities, training and sensibilities quickly became an international sensation.

But now they're stepping outside the box to do something new yet again, and it is stretching them in exciting, new and challenging directions. They are taking themselves to Broadway – both in a new album called "A Musical Affair" and to the place itself in a concert engagement at the Marriott Marquis Theatre in November, located at the heart of America's most legendary theatrical arena, that will introduce the album.

"It feels like we're going to dive in a completely different world of music," says Urs Bühler, the Swiss-born tenor. "I've been a singer in a rock band, which is one world and then I made the move into the classical, and then with Il Divo I combined the two and moved into the pop business," he says of a career that saw him begin performing in a rock band as a teenager, before training in classical music that saw him graduate from Switzerland's The Academy of School and Church Music before gaining a masters degree from the Amsterdam Conservatory. "But now we're going to Broadway, which is somehow a different format again. Getting in touch with this whole world of music is out of my comfort zone, so it is exciting and challenging."

That has been the constant challenge of Il Divo, both for its artists as well as its audience. "The thing that Il Divo brings to music in general is being outside the box and revamping something that people are already very familiar with," explains David Miller, the American tenor of the group. "For instance, with 'Unbreak my Heart', we put it in a different language, so that gave it a layer of distance from the version everyone knows. It was men singing it, which was another layer; and then it was multiple voices, which is another layer. It goes further and further out of the box, but with a melody that everybody is familiar with – so when they first hear it, they're not sure why they know this piece of music already. It's as if they're hearing it for the first time. At a certain moment, the lightbulb goes off, and they realise why it's familiar. It shows that although music can get codified, it really has no boundaries in the way it can be interpreted and reinterpreted and reconfigured, and still have a huge impact."

Sébastien Izambard, who came to Il Divo in the midst of a successful pop career in his native France, had some experience of musical theatre in Paris: "I was asked to appear in a French musical version of The Little Prince about twelve years ago, and I remember having to audition for it – that was unusual for me as a pop singer. So it was a real challenge to me." But he got the

job, and remembers the experience was amazing: "Not only was it an opportunity to sing in a different way, as a bridge between opera and a pop musical, but also there was a lot of acting to do."

So he is looking forward to embracing the world of Broadway now: "It's a completely different world again. I remember when I first joined Il Divo, going into the studio and hearing the huge vibratos, I wondered what I was doing there – when you sing pop, you usually sing in straight tones. But when we did 'Unbreak my Heart' all four of us realised that we had something that could open the door to people who'd never heard opera – which included me – to appreciate it."

Now Il Divo are looking forward to introducing their fans to the great works of Broadway. "This is going to be a fantastic surprise," says Carlos Marin, the Spanish baritone. "The audience are going to be really, really pleased – we've got well-known songs here, but we have a new sound and concept for them, and being on Broadway will also be a chance to try something really new and theatrical for us." Carlos has the most direct experience of appearing in musicals, having performed in leading roles in Grease, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast, Peter Pan and the Man of La Mancha in his native Spain. "When we were were forming Il Divo, I was offered Phantom of the Opera, too, but I couldn't do it. All of my career since I started at the age of eight, I've done musicals. I love them, so this is a very important album to me."

Of course, this isn't the first time Il Divo have sung Broadway songs: as David points out, "We've been doing selections here and there – 'Somewhere' from West Side Story' was on one of our earlier albums, we did 'Music of the Night' from The Phantom of the Opera with Barbra Streisand when we were on tour with her, and we once put together our own version of 'The Impossible Dream' from 'The Man of La Mancha' as an encore for one of our tours to add a piece of flair that wasn't there before."

But this is the first time, he adds, "we've brought out an album that is in its entirety a Broadway album. Those individual tracks had kept cropping up and were having a massive success with the audiences, so we thought what if we did a whole album of it? What if we devote a whole album to one genre? All of our previous albums had combined songs from different genres, so we'd have Frankie Goes to Hollywood next to Mariah Carey next to Frank Sinatra. They were very eclectic and across the board. Here we've got all one repertoire. But it is a very diverse one, if you look across the decades of how musical theatre has evolved, from how operettas turned into musicals, and how opera singers who used to sing in them didn't want to destroy their voices doing eight performances a week. Then microphones got introduced to save their voices, and then different vocal techniques were possible – all of which culminated in Rent, and opened the door for a different type of musical."

The fact that Rent is itself based on an opera La Boheme shows how far it has come – and it was, in fact, in Baz Luhrmann's production of La Boheme that David made his Broadway debut 11 years ago, playing Rodolfo. David, who now lives in Manhattan, notes that musical theatre is in that city's DNA, and also his own: "I've been singing musical theatre since I was about 14 years old when my first role was Rooster in Annie, and it was my entry into realising I had a voice. Then I played Noah in another musical called Two by Two, and Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance, when I realised that I really wanted to sing as my life career, and enrolled in a classical training."

Il Divo may have been an arranged marriage, but David speaks of how complementary their interests and skills have turned out to be. "We have a very wide base of musical understandings.

Sebastien is a self-taught pop singer who had done a musical, so and is aware of the process. Carlos has done every type of music and many musicals – he has a big frame of reference. And I've done musical theatre since I was a kid. Urs probably has the least frame of reference, but he's been in the theatre all of his life doing operas and operettas, which are most akin to musical theatre."

For Carlos, musicals are a way of proving something else: "You need to show the audience that you're not just a singer, but that you can dance, act and interpret songs. And when we do this onstage, we want to try to make it more real. We really see ourselves as artists, and the time you really feel an audience is when you do a live show. There's only one chance to do it right – it's where we show the world we are live singers!"

Sebastien is looking forward the closer proximity of a Broadway house. "We are used to touring in areas, but here's an opportunity to have more closeness with an audience."

They also, of course, bring their distinctive signature to the songs, too. As Urs says, "We give a different twist to all these songs, just purely from the fact that songs that were written as solo numbers are sung by the four of us. We've managed to create a version of these songs that is different to anything else out there. All these musicals have played all over the world, and interpreted by loads of different people. But our goal is always to take the musical material and do something with it that has not been heard before in that shape or fashion. As our voices share and blend, it is a sound that is different to a solo interpretation."

They are joined by star guests on several tracks, including Broadway's Kristin Chenoweth, Heather Headley and Nicole Scherzinger, as well as Britain's own Michael Ball in a rendition of 'Love Changes Everything' from Aspects of Love (the first time they've ever been joined by another male voice). The Il Divo template is being changed once again: "I'm hoping," says David, "that this will an opportunity to investigate how to take Il Divo out of its box and the format we've had from the last ten years, and by putting some constraints around it, expand it to another level. There is so much going on in this album, it is almost like going back to the first one which was a grand experiment: there were no preconceptions around it, and we had no idea what we were doing at the time, we just had a list of random songs and found different ways of structuring the songs to bring variety to them as we passed the ball between us."

The key to their success, David believes, is variety: "The more balls you can have in the air when you're juggling, the more exciting the juggler is. And that's what we do – we have multiple languages and multiple voices, and sometimes it is one voice, sometimes it is all of them; sometimes we have a big ending, sometimes a small one." Broadway thrives on such juxtapositions, and so will Il Divo.

 Tickets on sale Now!Reasor's and Starship Records in TulsaBuy For Less locations in OKCBy phone @ 866.977.6849Online @ protix.comTickets are $49.50, $89.50, & $120Doors open at 7pmAll ages welcome

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