DALLAS, TX — Just returned from a splendid Dallas Symphony pops concert, with Principal Pops Conductor Marvin Hamlisch leading the DSO in a rousing salute to the armed forces. In addition to the expected — “The Star-Spangled Banner,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “God Bless America” and a medley of all the themes of the U.S. Army, Air Force, Marine Corps, Navy and Coast Guard — Hamlisch, as always, surprised with some inspired choices to round out the show.
Co-concertmaster Nathan Olson performed a stirring set of pieces from Schindler’s List, then sparred with Hamlisch, who seemed astonished and impressed that Olson had reached that status at age 25. He asked him why he ultimately chose the violin rather than, say the piano (Hamlisch’s instrument). Totally deadpan, Olson explained that the piano seemed to him a “childish plaything. It has buttons, you push them and the notes come out.”
Other highlights included a rousing salute to George M. Cohan, a beautiful “Amazing Grace” with principal oboe Erin Hannigan, and all of the selections that featured members of the DSO Chorus directed from Joshua Habermann. A little girl named Prairie, who was celebrating her birthday, got to hear Hamlisch play “Happy Birthday” in the styles of Bach, Mozart and Beethoven (brilliant!). Birthday wishes are also due Hamlisch, who turns 68 next Saturday. By Joy Tipping / Staff Writer /Dallas News. Sat. May 26, 2012
Source: Joy Tipping, Dallas News.