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Monday, April 5, 2021

Shreveport Symphony Orchestra


Online and on-stage

is turning Shreveport into Broadway this April with two concerts devoted to the voices and motifs of the Great White Way. Still dealing with Covid compromises, SSO will present both events online and one of them optionally in person.

The first is a by-invitation evening online April 22 with pianist Richard Glazier live from his home in L.A. SSO Music Director Michael Butterman described Glazier as “a pianist and scholar/personality/host who is a Gershwin expert. He’s a kind of raconteur as well as a pianist. We had him here in October of 2019 to play ‘Rhapsody in Blue’ as part of a Gershwin evening we were doing.”

Glazier has agreed to host one of his intimate online evenings to benefit SSO. “It’s kind of a Golden Age of Hollywood [evening] for us,” Butterman explained, “And we’re making it available for some of our patrons and donors and in a way that we might normally have done a private gathering. This is a way to cultivate those relationships, those connections, even though we can’t be together in person at the moment.”

Also featured in the show will be Shreveporter Caleb Freeman, who’s a student at Wichita State University studying musical performance. Freeman said on his Facebook page that he’s “working toward my dream to become an entertainer. I love singing [and] acting.” Butterman described Freeman as “a really fine young singer in the Michael Feinstein mode or Harry Connick Jr. He [Richard] wanted to have a local connection to what he was offering.”

The online options developed as the Symphony looked for ways to sustain itself when Covid restrictions banned concerts. First Baptist Church (FBC) Shreveport has become the SSO port in the virus storm, so to speak.

“The nice thing about [First Baptist] is they televise their Sunday service, so they have a whole series of cameras that are already in place. And it’s relatively easy for us to take those camera feeds and record them and send them out as a live stream as well,” according to Butterman.

The second SSO event on April 24 and 25 will be streamed live from FBC, featuring SSO favorite Craig Schulman with Tamra Hayden. It’s also live for a truncated audience at FBC. Assistant Conductor Kermit Polling said he is glad the show got rescheduled after Covid. “It was the first thing the Shreveport Symphony cancelled or postponed. It’s a fun program. It’s actually a duo concert. It’s not just Craig. It’s with soprano Tamra Hayden, who is also a fantastic Broadway star. She toured nationally as Christine in ‘Phantom of the Opera.’ She was also in ‘Les Miz.’ Craig has a roster of artists that he’s worked with, and we’ve had the good pleasure of bringing him here. This is probably, I don’t know, the 15th show that I’ve done with Craig over the years.”

Schulman is the only performer to have appeared in the title roles of “Jekyll & Hyde,” Andrew Lloyd Webber’s “Phantom of the Opera,” and almost 2,000 performances of Jean Valjean in “Les Misérables.”

Tamra Hayden is a vocalist and accomplished multi-instrumentalist, playing piano, guitar and viola. She’s created musical collaborations with performers Angus Mohr, Paul McDaniel, Funky Freddy, Michael Gailit and others in person and via worldwide streaming. On her 2015 album, “Love Is,” she collaborated with some of Broadway’s best musicians on fan favorites. She toured nationally as Christine in “Phantom of the Opera.”

For more information and to see these two Broadway-celebrating events, go to https://shreveportsymphony.com, or call 318-227-8863. This April, the neon lights will be bright online and onstage with the Shreveport Symphony Orchestra.


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