Published : Thursday, May 9, 2019 | 1:05 PM
Stars of stage and screen will illuminate the night sky when The Pasadena Symphony and POPS presents its annual free Music Under the Stars concert on Saturday, June 1 at Pasadena City Hall’s Centennial Square. Presented with sponsorship support from Bank of America, the 2019 Music Under the Stars concert will celebrate treasured music that traveled from 42nd St. to Hollywood and back, spanning the Broadway canon from Hello Dolly to Meet Me in St. Louis to Gigi. Highlights include “The Trolley Song,” “My Funny Valentine,” and “New York New York” among many other classics.
Under the baton of Tony Award-nominated, Resident POPS Conductor Larry Blank, the orchestra will welcome three guest vocalists and the JPL Chorus to the stage. Best known for his role as Ian Troi on Star Trek: The Next Generation, multiple Emmy and Grammy nominee Amick Byram brings his dynamic range to the program. Returning again this year, Valerie Perri, who made a successful career of performing the role of the charismatic Eva Peron from “Evita,” will sweep you away with her dulcet tones. La Cañada native Finn Sagal rounds out the pack as a young and charismatic singer who was crowned the Great American Songbook Youth Ambassador as winner of the 2017 Songbook Academy® Award.
The family fun begins at 6:00pm with pre-concert activities, family-style picnicking and gourmet food trucks. Families can discover the wonder of creating their own music with the instruments of the orchestra at the instrument “petting zoo,” where kids of all ages can toot flutes, blow trumpets, bow strings and bang on percussion instruments. Families can bring their own picnic along to enjoy at the site, or purchase a variety of offerings from a collection of gourmet food trucks.
This family-friendly event is presented with the support of Bank of America’s arts program, which supports nonprofit arts and culture presenters at the local level and with leading world-class arts entities. Other programs include the Museums on Us® program, which offers Bank of America customers free access to 150 of America’s finest cultural institutions, and the Art in our Communities® program through which the company shares its corporate collection with museums throughout the world.
Gates open at 6:00pm and the concert begins at 8:00pm. Admission to this event is free, and guests are encouraged to bring a picnic, blanket and low-back chairs. Rental chairs will also be available for purchase. For more information, visit PasadenaSymphony-Pops.org or call (626) 793-7172.
About the Artists
Resident Pops Conductor, Larry Blank is one of the most prolific and sought after composers, conductors, and orchestrators in the entertainment business today. His work has been presented all over the world, including some of Broadway’s most successful musicals, Carnegie Hall, and top television and film projects.
Larry has received Tony and Drama Desk nominations for his orchestrations of Catch Me If You Can, The Drowsy Chaperone and White Christmas. Larry also received Drama Desk nominations for A Christmas Story and Honeymoon in Vegas.
Other Broadway orchestrations can be heard in the Lincoln Centre production of The Nance as well as Fame Becomes Me, La Cage aux Folles, The Producers, Thoroughly Modern Millie and Tommy Tune: White Tie and Tails.
Larry is currently orchestrating Roman Holiday (Golden Gate Theatre, San Francisco).
Recent projects include Holiday Inn (Universal/Roundabout Theater); Guys and Dolls (Chichester Festival Theatre, West End and Tour); Mrs Henderson Presents (Theatre Royal Bath, West End & Toronto); The Importance of Being Earnest (Vaudeville) and Mack & Mabel (Chichester Festival Theatre and UK Tour).
In the West End, Larry orchestrated City of Angels (Donmar Warehouse); White Christmas (Dominion); Singin’ in the Rain (Palace Theatre, UK tour, Japan, International tour, Russia and Australia); Carousel, Fiddler on the Roof, The Drowsy Chaperone, Guys and Dolls, The Producers, The Beautiful and Damned and Mack & Mabel.
Larry’s film orchestrations can be heard in The Producers and Chicago. Larry was the conductor/arranger/orchestrator for Jerry Herman’s title song for the film Barney’s Great Adventure, sung by Bernadette Peters, as well as orchestrating/arranging two songs for South Park for Marc Shaiman; music supervisor/orchestrator for Jerry Herman’s Mrs Santa Claus with Angela Lansbury; arranger/orchestrator for the films What’s the Worst That Could Happen?, The Kid, Kiss the Girls, The American President, Forget Paris, City Slickers II: the Legend of Curly’s Gold, The Net, That’s Entertainment! III, All Dogs Go to Heaven 2, Bogus, North, Speechless, I’d Do Anything, Stuart Saves His Family, Aladdin and the King of Thieves, The Jungle Book 2 and Cats Don’t Dance; composer for two episodes of the television series In the Heat of the Night, as well as music for Sweating Bullets and the Grammys.
Larry has arranged and/or conducted for Barbra Streisand, Michael Feinstein (including two tours of Australia and New Zealand), Marilyn Horne, Michael Crawford, Christine Andreas, Joe Williams, Yanni, Marvin Hamlisch, Bernadette Peters, Steve Lawrence, Vikki Carr, Pete Fountain, Elaine Stritch, Lorna Luft, Elaine Paige, Jason Alexander, Martin Short, Georgia Brown and many others.
Larry has orchestrated and arranged for four Academy Awards shows including parts of the (Marc Shaiman-arranged) Billy Crystal medleys.
Larry regularly conducts for BBC Radio 2 Friday Night is Music Night. Larry orchestrates the Olivier Awards for the Society of London Theatre. Larry conducted the Olivier Awards at the Royal Opera House in 2015 and 2016.
Amick’s talents are well established in film, television, and theater.
Amick sang the role of Moses in the Dreamworks animated film, The Prince of Egypt and was featured on camera as soloist Marcus Thornton in the film, A Million Ways to Die in the West. Other films include: La La Land, Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, The Grinch, Night at the Museum, Shrek, Aladdin, Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, Pocahontas, Hercules, Mulan, and The Greatest Game Ever Played just to name a few.
Amick is a two-time Grammy Award nominee and his solo vocal performance of “Christmas Time is Killing Us” was nominated for an Emmy Award for best song. He has voiced over 100 episodes of The Simpsons, is a regular on Family Guy and American Dad and is the singing voice of David in West Bank Story, which won an Academy Award for best short live action film.
In theater Amick appeared in Phantom of the Opera (Broadway), Les Miserables, and Sunset Boulevard as Joe Gillis opposite Glenn Close. Other roles include Sky/Guys and Dolls, Tommy/Brigadoon, Jesus/Superstar, Freddy/My Fair Lady, Julio/Paint Your Wagon.
Amick has also guest starred on prime time television from Frasier to Friends and was a series regular for three years on Superior Court playing Attorney Darrell Guillary. Trekkies know him as Ian Troi, Counselor Troi’s father on Star Trek: The Next Generation and Amick is featured on three Star Trek trading cards.
He is a regular concert and symphony soloist in the US and internationally having performed at Disney Hall, John Anson Ford Theater, and at Victoria Hall in Geneva just to name a few.
Finn Sagal was the winner of the 2017 Songbook Academy® and served this past year as the Songbook Youth Ambassador. He is a recent graduate of La Cañada High School where he performed with the award-winning LCHS Chamber Singers under the direction of Dr. Jeff Brookey, as well as in various musicals, including “Into the Woods”, “The Sound of Music”, “Guys and Dolls”, and most recently performed Javert in “Les Miserables”. Finn also is an accomplished alto saxophone player and played principal alto saxophone and soloist in the Colburn School Wind Ensemble, and lead alto in his high school jazz band.
During the past year, Finn has had wonderful opportunities to perform and represent the Songbook Foundation across the country. He made his official debut as Songbook Youth Ambassador at the Great American Songbook Hall of Fame Induction Gala honoring Ella Fitzgerald, Mitzi Gaynor, and Oscar-winning lyricist, Ray Gilbert. He performed The National Anthem at a NFL COLTS game in Indianapolis, he performed with Michael Feinstein at his clubs in San Francisco and NYC, and also at the Wynn Hotel in Las Vegas with Liza Minelli. He was most excited to perform this past Spring at Jazz at Lincoln Center in NYC. Finn would like to thank Michael Feinstein and the Great American Songbook Foundation for the amazing experience!
Finn is very much looking forward to attending UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music in the Fall, and majoring in Vocal Performance/Opera with Juliana Gondek.
Valerie Perri recently starred as Dolly Levi in 3D-Theatricals HELLO DOLLY. Eric Marchese of the Orange County Register said, “Valerie Perri delivers a knockout performance as Dolly. Proving a worthy successor to past stars, she’s part Channing, part Streisand, part Fanny Brice and 100 percent Dolly.” Valerie’s career began under the direction of legendary Director/Producer Harold Prince when he chose her to play Eva Peron in the Broadway National of EVITA. She has also had the honor of working with esteemed Director/Choreographer Jerome Robbins in the Broadway National of Jerome Robbins’ Broadway. She starred as Norma Desmond in the hit musical SUNSET BLVD at The Karen and Richard Carpenter Center which garnered her best actress nomination from Broadway World and also a Los Angeles Stage Scene Award for Best Performance of the Year 2013. She’s a recipient of the John Raitt Award for best Cabaret Performance 2014. She has sung for concert hall audiences worldwide, from Disney Hall to Carnegie Hall and internationally at the Opera House in Frankfort and the London Palladium. Her television and film credits include Criminal Minds, ER, Another World, The Out of Towners, George of the Jungle, Grease, and Dickie Roberts. Valerie’s compact disc, “Sweet Conversation” is available on iTunes and you can find her on all social media platforms.
Pasadena is a city rich with the arts and sciences, which gives way for the Jet Propulsion Laboratory Chorus to blend perfectly. Formed early in 2012 in a partnership between the Pasadena Symphony Association and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the JPL Chorus is comprised of JPL employees who rehearse weekly under the direction of (Donald Brinegar), the Pasadena Symphony’s Director of Choruses.
The JPL Chorus is comprised of 53 employees who rehearse each Wednesday evening. Their concert program includes a mixture of classical repertoire to popular, with composers ranging from Benjamin Britten and John Lennon/Paul McCartney.
The singers come from a wide variety of roles within JPL, including scientists, engineers, administrators, software, business people, and more. “The idea is to celebrate JPL with our group’s enthusiasm about music and singing. It’s been a lot of fun, and I think what Don brings to this particularly is a great sense of joy in the experience,” stated Stephen Kulczycki, Deputy Director of Communication and Education at JPL (and a member of the bass section.)
About the Pasadena Symphony Association
Formed in 1928, the Pasadena Symphony and POPS is an ensemble of Hollywood’s most talented, sought after musicians. With extensive credits in the film, television, recording and orchestral industry, the artists of Pasadena Symphony and POPS are the most heard in the world.
The Pasadena Symphony and POPS performs in two of the most extraordinary venues in the United States: Ambassador Auditorium, known as the Carnegie Hall of the West, and the luxuriant Los Angeles Arboretum & Botanic Garden. Internationally recognized, Grammy-nominated conductor, David Lockington, serves as the Pasadena Symphony Association’s Music Director, with performance-practice specialist Nicholas McGegan serving as Principal Guest Conductor. The multi-platinum-selling, two-time Emmy and five-time Grammy Award-nominated entertainer dubbed “The Ambassador of the Great American Songbook,” Michael Feinstein, is the Principal Pops Conductor, who succeeded Marvin Hamlisch in the newly created Marvin Hamlisch Chair.
A hallmark of its robust education programs, the Pasadena Symphony Association has served the youth of the region for over five decades through the Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestras (PYSO), comprised of five performing ensembles with 300 gifted 4th-12th grade students from more than 50 schools all over the Southern California region. The PYSO has toured internationally at prestigious venues in New York, Vienna, and most recently San Jose, Costa Rica. They regularly perform throughout Southern California and have appeared on the popular television show GLEE.
The PSA provides people from all walks of life with powerful access points to the world of symphonic music.