NHSO Pops To Play All-Gershwin Program at Regional Venues Feb. 18 & 19

Tuesday • February 7, 2023

The New Haven Symphony Orchestra (NHSO) Pops Series will perform a S’Wonderful all-Gershwin program on Saturday, February 18 at 3:00 p.m. at Hamden High School and Sunday, February 19 at 3:00 p.m. at Shelton High School. Led by NHSO Principal Pops Conductor Chelsea Tipton, II, the concert will feature Gershwin’s virtuosic masterpiece Rhapsody in Blue with guest pianist Clayton Stephenson, plus American jazz standards sung by Broadway’s Haley Carlucci.

George Gershwin was one of the most influential composers of the 20th century, known for blending classical music with jazz, blues, and other popular music styles. Born in New York in 1898, Gershwin began composing at a young age and wrote many popular songs, including “Rhapsody in Blue,” “An American in Paris,” and “I Got Rhythm.” He also composed several musicals, including “Porgy and Bess,” which is considered a cornerstone of American opera. Gershwin’s music bridged the gap between classical and popular music, and his innovative compositions continue to be widely performed today. Highlights of the NHSO’s program will include “Strike Up the Band,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “Embraceable You,” “Summertime,” and more.

American pianist Clayton Stephenson’s love for music is immediately apparent in his joyous charisma onstage, expressive power, and natural ease at the instrument. Growing up in New York City, Clayton started piano lessons at age 7 and was accepted into the Julliard Outreach Music Advancement Program for underprivileged children the next year, where he lingered to watch student recitals and fell in love with music. Fast-forward to today… he now studies in the Harvard-NEC Dual Degree Program, pursuing a bachelor’s degree in economics at Harvard and a master’s degree in piano performance at the New England Conservatory. And his accolades along the way have been bountiful: in addition to being the first Black finalist at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition in 2022, he was named 2022 Gilmore Young Artist; 2017 U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts; Jack Kent Cooke Young Artist; Gheens Young Artist; and Young Scholar of the Lang Lang International Music Foundation. He also took home a jury discretionary award at the 2015 Cliburn International Junior Piano Competition and Festival.

Haley Carlucci made her Broadway debut as Maria in the 2009 Revival of West Side Story and has performed in professional regional theaters throughout the country. Some of her favorite roles include Jasmine in the US Regional Premier of Aladdin with the Tuacahn Center for the Arts, Fiddler on the Roof, Oklahoma, Hairspray and The Mikado.

Tickets: Tickets range from $35-49. Tickets for kids 17 and under are free with the purchase of an adult ticket. To purchase tickets, visit NewHavenSymphony.org or call (203) 693-1486 Monday-Friday from 12-5pm.

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