Press Release – Season Opener Gershwin & Dixieland

October 21 Gershwin & Dixieland – 9.21.23
Contact: Caleb Bailey, [email protected]; 860-443-2876

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Blue Attire Suggested for Centennial of Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue

The Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra’s 77th season, comprising six Saturday-evening concerts at the Garde Arts Center, 325 State Street in downtown New London, will begin on Oct. 21, 2023, at 7:30 p.m. Led by Music Director & Conductor Toshiyuki Shimada, the orchestra will play works by Amy Beach, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, George Gershwin, and Tom Myron, shifting into Dixieland mode for a joint performance with the Tom Brown 6. The concert is sponsored by Olde Mistick Village.

Six- and four-concert subscriptions for the ECSO’s 2023-24 season may be purchased by calling 860-443-2876 or visiting Tickets for individual concerts—on Oct. 21, Nov. 18, Jan. 27, Feb. 24, March 30, and April 27—go on sale at on Sept. 25.

To kick off its 77th season, the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra will present a festive program of short works in several styles. First up: a world premiere, Monhegan Sunrise (Peace Fanfare), by Massachusetts-based composer Tom Myron, inspired by dawn on the rocky Maine island. Originally a waltz for solo piano, the 1893 Bal masqué by New Hampshire-born Amy Beach, the first successful woman composer in the U.S., will follow, depicting the spirited masked ball of the title.

Closing out the first half, the most famous clarinet “smear” in classical music will signal the start of George Gershwin’s jazz-influenced Rhapsody in Blue, which turns 100 early next year. Taking on the solo keyboard part that Gershwin himself played at the 1924 premiere will be versatile Connecticut-based pianist Gary Chapman. Speaking of rhapsodies, The Bamboula, composed in 1905 by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, the son of an English mother and an African father, is subtitled Rhapsodic Dance for Orchestra. The evening will go out in New Orleans style, with traditional jazz arrangements of familiar tunes performed by the Tom Brown 6, a Dixieland band, led by former ECSO Principal Trumpet Thomas Brown, who was also a U.S. Coast Guard Band member from 2002 until his recent retirement.

Attendees are encouraged to wear blue to celebrate the centennial of Gershwin’s masterpiece at the Oct. 21 concert and the post-concert reception.

To purchase tickets:

Subscribing to the ECSO’s concert season provides a significant discount versus purchasing individual tickets, secures your seats, and grants you access to complimentary vouchers which you can use to bring along family or friends.

Single tickets to events will be available for purchase through the ECSO and Garde Arts Center website at beginning September 25, 2023.

Our mission is to inspire, educate, and connect our communities through live orchestral music.