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|THE KING, THE MUSIC OF ELVIS
February 20, 2016 - By David Bowden, Tribune Star / Elvis Express Radio
Many Elvis Presley fans remember him as the hip-swaying heart-throb appearing on the Ed Sullivan show (shot from the waist up!) and as the svelte crooner who simply stopped in
the middle of one of his many movies to serenade us from the screen. And we loved it!
But that is not necessarily what Elvis wanted.
Elvis wanted to sing with a symphony!
Yes, you read that correctly – and the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra will grant that wish, presenting the great songs of Elvis on at 7:30 p.m. March 5 in Tilson Auditorium on the
For those of you who have not seen this column before, my name is David Bowden, and I have had the privilege of leading your hometown professional orchestra, the Terre Haute
Symphony, for almost 20 years. I am grateful to B.J. Riley and the Tribune-Star for supporting this wonderful community treasure that provides “Great Music! Close to Home” and for
allowing me to tell you about our terrific concerts in my columns.
The THSO is in the midst of a significant resurgence in the Wabash Valley. It’s not your grandmother’s symphony, although we are the oldest professional orchestra in the state.
This is our 90th season.
If you think that makes us old and stodgy, come check us out and discover what we really are. We’re fun.
Come as you are, in your overalls, in your hoodie, in whatever you are wearing at the moment (except maybe pajamas). You’ll find a connection with passionate musicians playing
great music in a wide variety of styles. No matter what satisfying experiences technology may give us, there is nothing like a live performance, where you watch and listen to
professional players dig in to music that stirs their hearts and minds. The THSO delivers outstanding musical quality, whether the musicians are playing Edvard Grieg, Ennio
Morricone or Elvis Presley.
Which gets us back to Elvis’s desire to sing with a symphony. Priscilla Presley tells us all about it as she explains why she recently helped put together an innovative recording at
Abbey Road Studios. The CD features Elvis singing his favorite songs, but re-mastered with the current Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. Priscilla said this was his dream come true.
From the first track, it simply sounds perfect and so right to hear “The King” singing his iconic songs with the lushness of a full symphony orchestra as his accompaniment.
The THSO will do the same on March 5, as we perform Elvis’s music with an LA-based group of outstanding singers. These are not Elvis impersonators; they are four Broadway and
cabaret singers in a “Jersey Boys”-style show that brings a new twist, shake, rattle and roll to the music of The King.
You’ll hear a thrilling celebration of his greatest hits, including “Heartbreak Hotel,” “Love Me Tender,” “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Suspicious Minds,”
“Jailhouse Rock,” and more. There will be music from Elvis’s movies, several gospel songs that he loved so deeply, including “Amazing Grace” and “How Great Thou Art,” and even
some “GI Blues.”
To learn more about this concert featuring the music of Elvis, visit THSO.org. Tickets are available at TicketMaster.com or by calling 800.745.3000.
So put on your blue suede shoes, your Elvis costume if you have one, or just wear what feels comfortable. Come hear Elvis as he always wanted to be heard – with a full, rich,
professional symphony orchestra – right here in the Wabash Valley. I hope to see you there.
David Bowden is music director of the Terre Haute Symphony Orchestra.