An Evening with George Gershwin

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Name: An Evening with George Gershwin
Date: October 6, 2018
Time: 7:30 PM - 9:30 PM EDT
Event Description:
An Evening with George Gershwin
Saturday, October 6, 2018 7:30pm at Sandusky State Theatre
Conversation with the Conductor 6:30pm

You won't want to miss Opening Night, which includes the full Firelands Symphony Orchestra, conductor Carl Topilow, over 70 members of the Firelands Symphony Chorale, director Michael Shirtz, and our special guests... Michael Preacely is back as our baritone singer, Kishna Davis Fowler will join him on stage as soprano singer, and guest pianist, Kathryn Brown.


Carl Topilow, Music Director and Conductor
Firelands Symphony Orchestra, Full Orchestra
Michael Shirtz, Chorale Director
Firelands Symphony Chorale
Michael Preacely, Guest Artist – Baritone
Kishna Davis, Guest Artist – Soprano
Kathryn Brown, Guest Artist – Pianist

The 2018-19 Firelands Symphony Orchestra Concert Season will open with an enchanting program that pays tribute to the great American composer and pianist, George Gershwin. “An Evening with George,” on Saturday, October 6, 2018, 7:30pm, at the Sandusky State Theatre will feature the full orchestra and chorale under the direction of conductor Carl Topilow. Guest artists will be pianist, Kathryn Brown performing Rhapsody in Blue and powerhouse vocalists, Kishna Davis Fowler, soprano and Michael Preacely, baritone. who will perform highlights from Porgy and Bess, one of the most famous and often performed American operas.

The saying "Only in America" easily describes the brilliant career of George Gershwin. Born in Brooklyn in 1898 as the son of Russian-Jewish immigrants, Gershwin brought the thrilling worlds of jazz and Broadway into the concert hall and opera house. The serious and the playful make this concert a true portrait of this multi-talented American whose music is now heard in every corner of the world. You’ll hear our full orchestra and guest artists perform some of the most iconic American music ever created. 
Gershwin’s poetic melodies and eclectic work presented will include Overture to Of Thee I Sing, Japanese, Promenade from Shall We Dance, Rhapsody in Blue and Porgy and Bess.

Gershwin devoted about a month to writing Rhapsody in Blue, but it shared his schedule with other activities, including a trip to Boston. Gershwin recalled: “It was on the train, with its steely rhythms, its rattlety-bang that is often so stimulating to a composer. . . . And there I suddenly heard—and even saw on paper—the complete construction of the rhapsody, from beginning to end. . . .” Gershwin notated the work’s opening as a low clarinet trill followed by a sweeping ribbon of uninterrupted pitches. Our guest artist Kathryn Brown, a superlative pianist who has performed around the globe, will articulate exquisitely the nuances of Rhapsody in Blue while engaging the audience with a sparkling performance of this classic Gershwin piece. 

The second half of the evening is devoted to highlights from Porgy and Bess. which premiered in 1935, Featuring a cast of classically trained African-American singers. A daring artistic choice at the time, the first English speaking opera initially met with unpopular public reception due in part to its racially charged theme, but has become the most famous and most often performed 20th-century American opera in history. With vocal talents, Kishna Davis Fowler, soprano, and Michael Preacely, baritone, and the 75 vocalists of the Firelands Symphony Chorale, you will enjoy one beautiful melody after another with thrilling choruses propelling the action as the music tells a story that is both heartbreaking and inspiring. Porgy and Bess libretto was written by author Dubose Heyward and lyricist Ira Gershwin. It was adapted from Dorothy Heyward and Dubose Heyward’s play, Porgy, itself an adaption of Dubose Heyward’s 1925 novel of the same name. Preacely and Fowler will perform such well-known songs as “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’,” “My Man’s Gone Now,” “Summertime,” “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” and so many more. 

“An Evening with George” is made possible by the generous sponsorship of our principal benefactor, The Randolph J. & Estelle M. Dorn Foundation, funding from The Ohio Arts Council, our season sponsors Diane and Gary Ackerman, Gold sponsor Erie County Community Foundation, and Silver sponsor Lata Stefano Dental.
Event Media:
Sandusky State Theatre
107 Columbus Avenue
Sandusky, OH  44870
Date/Time Information:
Saturday, October 6, 2018 at 7:30pm
Contact Information:
For ticket information, call (419) 621-4800 or buy tickets online at or email us at:
$33 per ticket for Gold Seating
$30 per ticket for Silver Seating
$10 per ticket for Assigned Student Seating
Free Seating is available in the balcony for students who present a valid student ID