Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Orchestra Kentucky: The 2nd Concert

This past Saturday night, March 19, Paula and I attended our 2nd concert presented by Orchestra Kentucky.

The first one was back in January and featured the music of composer/arranger Leroy Anderson. You can read the details of that concert in January 14 post.

While I really enjoyed the that concert the audience that evening only filled about 1/2 of Van Meter Hall on the campus of Western Kentucky University. Last Saturday's concert filled the hall to capacity or close to it. The reason for this increase in attendance was, of course, the selections to be performed: Disney Music.

The show was entitled "Tale As Old As Time," a line from the academy award winning song from"Beauty & The Beast, featured songs from the long and rich history of music from Disney movies and theme parks. It was a completely different type of production than the  January concert.

The first major difference was the location of our seats. At Paula's request we decided to sit in the balcony this time. We were in the very last section of the hall's 2nd floor, which gave us the best overview of the entire orchestra and the video screen as well. The videos played on the screen throughout the performance were a key part of the program. The picture above was taken from our vantage point.

The next major difference was the featured vocalists. Not just any vocalists but 5 singers who have actually recorded for Disney records.  Publicity articles for the concert referred to these vocalists and some of the guest musicians as "Disney Talent". There was also a chorale of singers who provided back round vocals. This group of a dozen or so very talented singers also sang unique arrangements of some of the songs including: "That's What Friends Are For" as part of a medley from the "Jungle Book".

The program featured medleys of songs about Disney heroes, dreams, villains, and climatic moment of classic Disney movies. Of course interwoven throughout the concert were the songs of Richard and Robert Sherman.  

The only flaw in the entire concert was the fact that the quintessential Disney song, "When You Wish Upon A Star" was not played. Or at least it wasn't featured. It could have been part of the opening medley but I don't remember hearing it.  I thought for sure it would be played as the encore selection.

At the end of the concert I waited in anticipation when, amid the applause and standing ovation, the vocalists reemerged from the wings to offer the encore. But when conductor, Jeffery Reed, described the "one last selection" to be played as "a song that will get stuck in your head", I realized it was going to be "It's A Small World", not the signature song from "Pinocchio". It was the only disappointment of the evening.

 I couldn't figure out why the song was not played. The only other reason I can think of is that it was included in the orchestra's first Disney music concert last year.

It goes without saying that I really enjoyed this concert very very much. I mean it's Disney music. It has universal appeal. I won't go into a discussion of that subject here but look for and expanded exploration of the universal appeal and "magic" of Disney music check out my "Disney specific" blog: There should be post on this subject published soon.

What I want to do in this post is point out the contrast between the 2 Orchestra Kentucky concerts I've been to this year. The "Leroy Anderson" concert had a very specific target audience. As I've pointed out the attendance at that concert was evidence of that fact. 

But the 1000 who attended the orchestra's 2nd Disney concert in the last 2 seasons included children and adults of all ages. The demographics for each concert couldn't have been more different.

Still I can safely say that I really enjoyed both of them. Based on the announced concert schedule I don't believe I'll be going to any more of the orchestra's concerts the rest of this season.

But based on my first two concerts, the next time there's an Orchestra Kentucky concert that appeals to me I won't hesitate to go again. It's one of the few local entertainment options that I can be sure to enjoy. The cost is not much more than the price of an evening at the movies. That makes it a real "value" to me.

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