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CSO show aims to capture Gershwin music in rhapsody

Courtesy of Premiere Media LLC

The Columbus Symphony Orchestra will hold another weekend performance full of guests, music and compositions paying homage to George and Ira Gershwin.

“The Gershwins’ Here to Stay,” featuring pianist Kevin Cole, vocalist Sylvia McNair and tap dancer Ryan Van de Boom, will be at the Ohio Theatre at 8 p.m. Saturday.

Cole will help lead the program during its visit to Columbus. According to his website, Cole is regarded as “the foremost interpreter of George Gershwin compositions according to members of the Gershwin family.”

Cole doesn’t just know the music he will be playing, he loves it . When creating the event, he had one stipulation: The program “had to talk about Gershwin as a human being, not just a musician,” Cole said.

He said this is a special performance.

“You get the full spectrum of what George and Ira (Gershwin) intended,” Cole said.

MacNair, two-time Grammy Award-winning guest vocalist will join Cole for the performance. McNair has been featured several times prior with the orchestra.

Steve Wedell, a full-time violist for the symphony and a lecturer in the school of music, said he looks forward to working with McNair. He said McNair has begun to crossover with work into more popular music.

“She’s a great artist, so you would expect her to be able to really do really well at whatever style she wants to sing,” Wedell said.

In addition to the excitement of working with McNair, Wedell said this concert is a little different and lets the symphony show its “other persona.”

“Usually you think of a symphony orchestra as playing classical music and music from the past, but this particular weekend is what we call a ‘pops concert’ and so the whole programming venue is based on the idea of featuring popular music,” Wedell said.

Randall Hester, full-time flutist for the symphony, said he enjoys the opportunity of working with guest musicians as well.

“When new musicians come, it’s always nice to hear new approaches to the repertoire, and we always learn from them,” Hester said.

Tickets are $23-$68 and can be purchased at the Ohio Theatre Ticket Office (39 E. State St.), and all Ticketmaster outlets.

Students between the ages of 13-19 may purchase $5 PNC All Access tickets while available.

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