Annapolis, MD — On September 21st at 8 p.m. Live Arts Maryland opened its 2013–2014 season at Maryland Hall.
Music Director J. Ernest Green welcomed six of Broadway’s hottest young stars and two red-hot concert stage performers for “One Singular Sensation – A Celebration of the Music of Marvin Hamlisch.”
“I am very excited about this concert. I was very fortunate to have known and worked with Marvin. He was one of the kindest and most generous people I have ever met and was a mentor, colleague and most importantly, a great friend” — Maestro J. Ernest Green.
The eight performers joined at Live Arts Maryland for this special event; all veterans of Broadway, off-Broadway, cabarets and the concert hall stage. Some have also appeared on popular TV shows: Klea Blackhurst, Bernard Dotson, Jon Fletcher, Marissa McGowan and Valerie Lemon, an accomplished cabaret singer and one of Mr. Hamlisch’s long-time vocal soloists. Pianists Kevin Cole and Peter Dugan have both participated in previous tributes to Mr. Hamlisch to great acclaim, as did red-hot violinist Charles Yang. Together, they, along with Mr. Green, have created a fitting celebration of one of America’s best and most prolific composers.
Green and these soloists have participated in several concerts of Mr. Hamlisch’s music since his untimely death in 2012, including a recent benefit performance for the 100th anniversary of the American Cancer Society at New York City’s Hudson Theatre.
It is the start of the Annapolis Chorale’s performing season and the 170 members of this popular ensemble were on hand along with the women’s ensemble Cantori, the Annapolis Youth Chorus, the 7th and 8th grade choirs from Wiley H. Bates Middle School and members of the Children’s Theatre of Annapolis’ Second Stage.
Thanks to Bernard Doston; he wrote: Saturday, September 21st, I had the honor of singing in a tribute concert to one of the greatest composers of our time and multi award winner Mr Marvin Hamlisch. The evening was filled with music from stage and screen and assembled some of the most extraordinary musicians and singers, that included a choir of over 170 children and adults.
I had the pleasure to sing songs from the musicals “Sweet Smell Of Success” and They’re Playing Our Song”.
I met Marvin when I was cast in “Sweet Smell Of Success” on Broadway. He and the lyricist Craig Carnelia allowed me to introduce the song “Laughing All The Way To The Bank”. Just the three of us in a room with Marvin playing the piano, it was thrilling. Marvin was a true artist and was really concerned about how I felt about the song and allowed me to bring myself to the number. His music allows you to dig deep in your soul and sing with joy and a great deal of passion. Being invited to sing at the concert with this unbelievably talented group is something that I will cherish for the rest of my life. May Marvin Hamlisch’s music live on for generations to come. Bernard Dotson
Mr. Hamlisch wrote music that is part of the American soundtrack. He scored 45 films and eight musicals. He composed some of the most memorable pop songs, including Barbra Streisand’s hit, “The Way We Were” and Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does it Better,” which was included in the James Bond film “The Spy Who Loved Me.” He also wrote music for Broadway classic “A Chorus Line,” which featured “What I Did for Love.”
During his career, he won an unprecedented three Oscars, four Emmys, four Grammys and two Golden Globe awards. At the time of his death, Mr. Hamlisch was hard at work on yet another Broadway show and had also authored a children’s book: “Marvin Makes Music’ which was posthumously released. An E-Book version of his book “The Way I Was” will be released shortly. The BFI — London Film Festival will show the documentary about Marvin Hamlisch. PBS will also show the documentary in their series: American Masters.
Live Arts Maryland is a non-profit arts organization that is passionate about making life in our community better by presenting high-quality music and providing music education for all ages. Live Arts Maryland’s performing ensembles include the Annapolis Chorale and Chamber Chorus, Cantori, a women’s ensemble, the Annapolis Chamber Orchestra and the Annapolis Youth Chorus. It is supported by the Maryland State Arts Council, the Arts Council of Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis.