Is there a Top 40 listing of classical music hits? Can Leroy Anderson's "The Typewriter" and Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" be included alongside works by Brahms, Mozart and Beethoven?
Robert Vodnoy begins his 12th season as music director of the Whiting Park Festival Orchestra with a program taken from an expanded Top 40 listing of classical hits.
Experience spring's awakening in the first movement of Beethoven's "Pastoral Symphony." March to the scaffold with the hopelessly-in-love young artist of Berlioz' "Fantastic Symphony." Hear the crash of the guillotine blade and the artist's severed head hit the basket below.
Move into the 20th century with Gershwin's jazzy "Little Rhapsody in Blue" and Copland's arresting "Fanfare for the Common Man."
The musical quality and range is just one reason for attending one or more concerts this year.
Vodnoy and his 45 professional musicians, many of whom have played together in Whiting for multiple seasons, will perform in a refurbished pavilion, part of park renovations completed during the first phase of a $45 million lakefront development project. Ninety percent, including the two-tiered boardwalk along Lake Michigan, should be finished by mid-2013, according to Bob Kark, director of economic development for the City of Whiting.
You'll be impressed by what's been done to date. "It will feel like a different venue," Kark says, "a more soothing environment with opportunities for social impact."
It also seems more spacious.
You'll like the new expanded concessions/restrooms building with patio seating at tables with umbrellas, and the new landscaped parking area next door.
The time-worn asphalt pavement around the pavilion is gone, replaced by a grassy expanse extending out from a walkway on three sides. The steep hill that used to face the front has morphed into a gently graded theater space providing increased seating capacity and spectator comfort.