Oct. 8, 2004 It's become a welcome tradition on St. Thomasthe Puerto Rico Symphony Orchestra teaming up with the Forum to bring classical and contemporary music to the island. The performance will be at the Reichhold Center for the Arts on Saturday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m.
"This is the sixth time we've brought the Puerto Rico Symphony here. It's the only opportunity for people here to hear a full symphony orchestra," said Brian Squires of the Forum. "If youve never heard or seen a symphony orchestra in action it's an amazing sight and sound."
The orchestra will play under the leadership of Maestro Roselin Pabon.
This time, St. Thomas' Lorna Freeman is singing with the orchestra for the first half of the show. Freeman, a graduate of Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, received her Bachelor of Arts degree in music with a concentration in vocal performance from Morris Brown College in Atlanta. Her musical roots go back to school and church. She was the overall winner in the Inspirational Music Category of Ed McMahon's Next Big Star.com Talent Competition, she's performed in "Amateur Night at the Apollo" in Harlem, N.Y., and she's sung at the Reichhold Center in Starfest. Freeman sings popular music in her role as lead singer for the Starlites, but also performs sacred and classical music. Freeman will be singing a piece from Rachmaninoff and Broadway hits "Impossible Dream," "Memory," and "All I Ask of You" from Phantom of the Opera. She will be rehearsing with the orchestra in Puerto Rico.
"We selected her after having looked at one or two other people from St. Thomas, because we wanted to give the concert a local flavor," Squires said. "And we also wanted to develop a program that would be broader than its traditional appeal."
Between Freeman's songs, the orchestra will also play Rossini Overture to Semiramide and the Gold and Silver Waltz by Franz Lehar.
For the second half, the Orchestra will be playing the 5th Symphony from Tchaikovsky. "We'll get a nice balance between popular Broadway music and popular classical music," Squires said.
About 80 musicians will come with the orchestra along with their instruments. The Forum arranges for extra planes to carry all 80 instruments, and takes care of transportation and accommodations for the musicians. According to Squires, the total cost of the event becomes quite high. "It costs us a total of $80,000 to bring the orchestra," he said.
The performance is Saturday, Oct. 23, at 8 p.m. Ticket prices are $65, $35 and $10. Tickets are on sale at the Reichhold Center for the Arts, Modern Music at Nisky Center, Parrot Fish, Dockside Bookstore, Interiors in Fort Mylner, and Home Again in Red Hook Plaza. For ticket information call the Reichhold Center Box Office at 693-1559 or log onto www.reichholdcenter.com.
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