CORVALLIS - The Oregon State University-Corvallis Symphony Orchestra will celebrate the centennial birthday of American composer George Gershwin by performing several of his works at the final concert of its 1997-98 season.

The concert will begin at 8 p.m. on Thursday, May 21, in OSU's LaSells Stewart Center. Featured soloists are Roosevelt Credit, baritone, and Victor Steinhardt, piano.

Credit, who is on tour with the Broadway production of Showboat, has been a frequent guest soloist in Corvallis since his days as an OSU music student in the 1980s. After completing his master of music degree at Northwestern University, he took a position on the conducting staff of the Chicago Children's Choir, and then went on to New York City to begin work on Broadway. Songs Credit will sing with the orchestra include, "A Woman is a Sometime Thing," "Embraceable You," "Love is Here to Stay," "There's a Boat Dat's Leavin'" and "Nice Work If You Can Get It."

Steinhardt is a professor of piano at the University of Oregon. He frequently plays throughout the U.S. as a concert pianist, and is well-known for his many compositions which frequently employ jazz and ragtime elements. He will perform Gershwin's "Variations on 'I Got Rhythm' for Piano and Orchestra."

Also on the program is "Til Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks," one of Richard Strauss' most popular tone poems. According to orchestra music director Marlan Carlson, the work is based on a series of legends originating during the Renaissance about a prankster who never tired of playing tricks on people.

The orchestra will also perform Claude Debussy's "Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun." Based on a poem by Debussy's friend, Stephane Mallarme, this tone-poem is "the most enduring and popular French Impressionistic musical work of all time," Carlson said. "Its shimmering beauty captures the very essence of Impressionistic painting through its harmonic ambiguities, melodic arabesques and suggestive symbolism." Featured soloist in this performance is flutist Jill Pauls, who recently completed her doctorate of musical arts in flute performance at the University of Oregon.

Rounding out the program will be two other favorites of symphony audiences - Gershwin's "Strike Up the Band" and Rossini's "Overture to the Thieving Magpie."

Tickets are $14 for general admission and $6 for students, and are available in Corvallis at Rice's Pharmacy, Gracewinds Music, The Emporium and the OSU Music Department, and in Albany at Sid Stevens Jewelers.


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OSU Music Department, 541-737-4061