West Michigan Symphony Channels Hollywood with Next Performance

West Michigan Symphony welcomes Diane Penning and Paul Langford for Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies concert.
West Michigan Symphony welcomes Diane Penning and Paul Langford for Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies concert.

The West Michigan Symphony orchestra will be joined by coloratura soprano Diane Penning and singer/arranger Paul Langford for Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies this weekend.

Kalamazoo Philharmonia music director Andrew Koehler will conduct the concert.

The concert will include music from “E.T.,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Way We Were,” “West Side Story,” “Mary Poppins,” and other Hollywood movie favorites.

West Michigan Symphony said “virtually the entire program” will feature Paul Langford’s “sparkling, colorful and creative orchestral arrangements,” including selections like Arlen’s “Over the Rainbow,” Mandel’s “The Shadow of Your Smile,” Loesser’s “Slow Boat to China” and “Luck Be a Lady,” Hamlisch’s “The Way We Were,” Bernstein’s “Tonight,” and Lloyd Webber’s “Think of Me.”

The WMS orchestra will be showcased in John Williams’s Flying Theme from “E.T.” and Calvin Custer’s Tribute to Henry Mancini and “The Sea Hawk” suite.

WMS said Diane Penning will tie the performance together with her “warmth, wit and outstanding artistry.”

Penning is a seasoned artist who has performed with the orchestras of Battle Creek, Colorado Springs, Dayton, Grand Rapids, Grant Park, Tacoma and many others.

“Performing is both an artistic and a spiritual experience,” Penning said. “It is deeply meaningful for me to create an experience for the audience that draws them into the artistry of the music.”

Andrew Koehler joins WMS from Kalamazoo where he is music director of the Kalamazoo Philharmonia and associate professor of music at Kalamazoo College, where he was recently honored with the American Prize Vytautas Marijosius Memorial Award in Orchestral Programming.

As founder and music director of the Arcato Chamber Ensemble, he has collaborated with artists including Midori, Rachel Barton Pine, Aaron Dworkin and others.

Hollywood’s Greatest Melodies concert takes place at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 9 at the Frauenthal Theater. Tickets range from $25-$57; student tickets are $10. Tickets can be purchased by calling the WMS box office at 231.726.3231, in person at 360 W. Western Avenue, or online at WMS.

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