It’s All Just Theatre!
Shreveport Symphony Orchestra presents Broadway Spectacular
The Shreveport Symphony Orchestra (SSO) is Louisiana’s oldest continually operating professional orchestra and one of the most respected regional orchestras in the U.S.
Now in its 70th year, the symphony is a “treasure” in Shreveport, says Anne Wilson, this year’s gala chair. Her goal: to raise $100,000 at the black-tie event themed “Give My Regards to Broadway.” The Horseshoe Casino Riverdome will be transformed into Midtown Manhattan, with a city silhouette and Broadway box office and the feel of entering a sold-out performance under the warm umber glow of sundown.
About 30 members of the Symphony, led by SSO Music Director Michael Butterman, will accompany vocalists and dancers performing classic and modern Broadway hits. Rocky Maddox will be the stage musical director.
Entertainment will include favorites like “My Shot” from “Hamilton” and “Music of the Night” from “Phantom of the Opera,” as well as selections from “The Sound of Music” and an audience sing-along. And it wouldn’t be a Broadway spectacular without a full-cast finale!
Funds raised will support orchestra concerts and the Symphony’s robust educational and community engagement programs, including the Sym-Phonics literacy and music education program for preschoolers, the Discovery Concerts for elementary students, and performances in senior communities and memory centers.
Contributions will also help defray any additional costs associated with moving the performances to other locales while the Riverview Theatre undergoes renovations this concert season. “We’re excited to be presenting most of our performances at First Baptist Church in Shreveport, which is one of the most architecturally beautiful and acoustically perfect venues in our region,” said Butterman. This season’s repertoire was carefully chosen to make the most of the exceptional sound quality at First Baptist. SSO Executive Director Lois Robinson likens the performance space to many European concert halls.
Paul Broussard, president of Oasis Aquatech Pools, didn’t hesitate to do what he could to sponsor the event. “We are so fortunate to have a fantastic symphony in a city of our size, which speaks to the generosity of the people in this town. I know of several larger cities that can’t financially sustain one.” He wants to ensure the Symphony remains a vital part of Shreveport’s culture. “You just can’t help being moved by the music,” he said.
At concerts, Butterman is known for his enthusiastic and expressive introductions of music selections and for communicating to the audience what to listen for in each piece. His goal is to provide a range of experiences that speak to people of all backgrounds and ages, and for concerts to be warm and welcoming to symphony aficionados and first-timers alike. Wilson wants everyone “to see how blessed Shreveport is to have such a winsome and talented conductor.” Shreveport’s maestro also conducts the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra and the Pennsylvania Philharmonic.
Event co-chairs are Jennifer Carsillo Butterman and Leigh Anne Chambers. Celebrity emcees and auctioneers will be Dan and Jacque Jovic of KTAL NBC 6 News. Sponsors include Willis-Knighton Health Systems, Oasis Aquatech Pools and 24 other generous donors. Behind the scenes, scores of volunteers on a number of committees have worked tirelessly to create a memorable evening.
Wilson hopes that in the end, the gala fundraiser will “help the Symphony continue to fill our lives with the majesty of music!” Opening night of the “Music Moves the Soul” concert season is Sept. 22.
To purchase concert tickets or donate to the Shreveport Symphony, visit www.shreveportsymphony.com.
– Elizabeth Beard Deal