Rhapsody in June: A Celebration of Two Masters of Swing
Waterbury Symphony Orchestra presents Rhapsody in June, Saturday, June 12, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. at the Waterbury Arts Magnet School Courtyard, and Sunday, June 13, 2021 at 4:00 p.m. on the lawn at Five Points Center for the Visual Arts in Torrington. The weekend long celebration is a salute to two masters of swing, Duke Ellington and George Gershwin.
The concert will feature some of Ellington’s most loved works including: It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing) and Jubilee Stomp and, of course, Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue will be a centerpiece of the concert. This program underscores the WSO’s long history in the Waterbury community. On March 26, 1963, Duke Ellington was the piano soloist with the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra in a performance of New World A-Comin’, a landmark jazz score composed by Ellington. “I’m very excited about our salute to the music of Ellington and Gershwin. This concert is at the heart of the WSO’s history and mission, to use music as a bridge to connect audiences from different generations and diverse communities. We believe it is an opportunity to foster shared musical experiences and build community. It is the first in what we hope will be an ongoing series celebrating jazz, Latin music, and the rich legacy of the Great American Songbook,” says WSO Music Director & Conductor Leif Bjaland.
The concert will showcase more than twenty WSO musicians and will feature three guest artists. Internationally renowned pianist Andrew Armstrong will be the featured soloist for Rhapsody in Blue. Both vocalist, Maria Wirries and pianist, Alex Rybeck have performed with the Symphony’s Great American Songbook Project, an annual weekend-long workshop, for talented young singers to be coached in songs from the 1920s, 30s, 40s, and 50’s, collectively known as “The Great American Songbook.”
The WSO has developed concert guidelines in accordance with the CT Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD) so that everyone can relax and enjoy the music. Capacity is limited and these concerts are expected to sell out. Attendees will be required to wear masks.
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