Music lovers get ready — at 5 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 24, the Susanville Symphony Society kicks off its 20th season with the ever-popular Concert on the Green outside the historic Lassen County Courthouse. Children are welcome to attend the concert at no charge. Bring blankets, tables, food, beverages of your choice and enjoy some fantastic music on a delightful fall evening.
Ben Wade, the society’s artistic director and maestro, thanked the community for purchasing tickets to individual shows, but he said the support of patrons who purchase season tickets is vital to the organization.
“We’ve got to get those season ticket holders ready to go,” Wade said. “We want to get season ticket people in the door and not just ticket holders this year. We’ve got to support the symphony, not just one show at a time. It’s the season members who really allow us to budget and plan our season.”
He said season ticket purchases are up a little this year, but last year they were really down.
“The beautiful Jessica Wade and Abby Datema will be greeting patrons and encouraging them to buy season tickets,” Wade said.
The cost of an individual ticket can be deducted from the cost of a season ticket for those who wish to upgrade.
The Susanville City Big Band performs most of the show, but it will be joined by the strings for one number at the end, Wade said.
“We’re going to be bringing all kinds of funk and rock — some cool stuff,” Wade said.
Jessica Newton Wade and her family presented the Susanville Best of Broadway series for many years, and she will perform “Summertime,” the infamous Aria from George Gershwin’s Opera Porgy and Bess. This opera was written by Gershwin in the 1920s when he lived in Charleston, North Carolina, and the music reflects a blend of both New York jazz and southern black traditions of praying and street songs.
Another highlight is Craig Harris singing “Minnie the Moocher” with Larry Machada on trumpet, and Wade called the number “absolutely sweet.”
Other fantastic vocal songs performed will include “Fever” by Phil Fetterman and “Feeling Good” by Abby Datema.
The Big Band will be backed by famous rock star drummer Tony Savage, an absolute “savage” on the drums.
“It’s really cool to have Tony Savage playing with us,” Wade said, “a guy who can say he played a gig with Jimmy Hendrix. I mean, he’s one of the best drummers anywhere!”