When presenting a touring performing artist, we are often asked about the band that performs with them. Sometimes the artist brings their own musicians. Sometimes they bring a core group of musicians and the venue provides the rest. Yet other times, the venue provides most or all of the band. That usually includes anywhere from 4 to 12 musicians.
For the upcoming concert by Broadway legend, actress, and singer Bernadette Peters, the Lively Arts at IUP will be providing most of the musicians and in much greater numbers. Under the direction of Peters’ conductor, Marvin Laird, and with the assistance of drummer Cubby O’Brien, IUP will provide 28 musicians that will perform with the two-time Tony Award winner.
The concert, which serves as the finale to the Lively Arts’ Ovations! series inaugural season, will be performed on Friday, May 4, 2012, in IUP’s Fisher Auditorium.
The concert will be filled with songs from Peters’ vast repertoire she has built since her 1967 Broadway debut. The ensemble, dubbed the IUP Studio Orchestra, is being assembled by IUP trumpet professor Kevin Eisensmith. The musicians have been provided with the music in advance and will rehearse with Laird for several hours prior to the concert.
IUP students performing with the orchestra include Michael Wertz (trumpet), Ryan Howell (horn), George Joyce and Matthew Morse (trombone), Nicole Gillotti and Annie Ursu (violin), Corey Shawley (viola), and Nathaniel Mack (guitar).
IUP faculty and staff performing include Keith Young, Jason Worzbyt, and Stephanie Caulder (reed), Kevin Eisensmith and David Ferguson (trumpet), Jack Scandrett (horn), Christian Dickinson (trombone), Stanley Chepaitis and Kim Weiner (violin), Linda Jennings (cello), Nathan Santos (bass), Michael Kingan (percussion), Lucy Scandrett (harp), and Peter Dugas (piano).
Other area professional musicians performing in the ensemble include Dan Heasley and Raymond DeFade (reed), Dena Miller and Crystal Lennartz (violin), Matthew Pickart (viola), and Mary Amrhein-May (cello).
Tickets for the May 4 concert are available online at IUPTickets.com, by calling 724-357-1313, or at the Hadley Union Building. Any seats remaining will be sold at the door starting at 7:00 p.m. the night of the concert.
The concert is funded by the Helwig Distinguished Artist Endowment and additional funding from the Helwig family.