On Saturday, my son and I attended the Lansing Symphony Orchestra's performance of Oh What a Night! Music of the ‘60s at Wharton Center for Performing Arts. As dedicated fans of Stevie Wonder and Otis Redding, we were enthusiastic about the show. I was delighted to be joined by a diverse audience comprised of many generations of “oldies” fans, symphony devotees and those new to performing arts.
Guest Conductor Stuart Chafetz was the life of the party. He cleverly led the orchestra's short opening set of LaBamba to warm up the audience for the music to come. Chaftez previously held posts as resident conductor of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and associate conductor of the Louisville Orchestra. Today, he is increasingly in demand with orchestras across the United States. I found him very energetic and enjoyable to watch.
Derrick Baskin, Bradley Dean and Edward Watts were guest performers. All three are Broadway veterans with profound vocal ranges and charisma for days. It was impressive to hear of the shows they’ve been in and where they are headed at the conclusion of this tour. In my eyes, the finest moments in the show included times they performed in harmony on stage.
The true stars of the evening were the ever-talented members of the Lansing Symphony Orchestra, especially the brass section. They carried us through an amazing set list that included: Jersey Boys Medley, It's Not Unusual, Hit the Road, Aquarius and Let the Sunshine In from Hair, and Respect.
I encourage everyone to support the LSO. Their annual Holiday Pops concert takes place Sunday, Dec. 11th. Star Wars and Beyond: The Music of John Williams will be Saturday, April 22. A full costume may be in order for that one!
You may purchase tickets and view their full calendar online at: http://www.lansingsymphony.org/