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Rhapsody in Blue

Mendel Center

May 11 @ 7:30 pm

Meet some of music’s boundary pushers and barrier breakers with a featured side-by-side performance with the next generation of musicians, the Lake Michigan Youth Orchestra. Relish a gem from female composer Fernande Decruck. The sounds of gospel, blues, and jazz meet the orchestral stage with Duke Ellington’s Black, Brown, and Beige, his musical illustration of African American history. Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue concludes the SMSO’s Mainstage season with the raucous and joyous energy of city life. 

Gilmore Young Artist, Daniel Hsu (piano)

Program Schedule

$38 Zone A | $23 Zone B | $6 Youth (ages 6-17)
Processing fees included in price.

6:00 PM – Doors Open
6:30 PM – FREE Pre-Concert Conversation with Maestro Aubin (30 min)
7:30 PM – Concert (100 min)

Jeanne Delphine Fernande Breilh-Decruck (b. 1896, d. 1954) was born in Gaillac, a town in southwest France, where her father Ferdinand was a merchant. At eight years old, she entered the Toulouse Conservatory where she won first prize in music theory (1911), first prize in piano (1913) and a second prize in harmony (1917). In 1918, eager to join the harmony class of Xavier Leroux, she tried and immediately passed the entrance exam for Paris Conservatory. 

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Featuring a side-by-side performance with the LYMO Youth Orchestra.

Georges Bizet (b. 1838, d. 1875) was a French composer of the Romantic era. Best known for his operas in a career cut short by his early death, Bizet achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen, which has become one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertoire.

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Black, Brown and Beige is an extended jazz work written by Duke Ellington for his first concert at Carnegie Hall, on January 23, 1943. It tells the history of African Americans and was the composer’s attempt to transform attitudes about race, elevate American music, specifically jazz, to be seen as on par with classical European music, and challenge America to live up to its founding principles of freedom and equality for all.

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Featuring Gilmore Young Artist Daniel Hsu on piano.

Rhapsody is one of Gershwin’s most recognizable creations and a key composition that defined the Jazz Age. Gershwin’s piece inaugurated a new era in America’s musical history, established Gershwin’s reputation as an eminent composer, and eventually became one of the most popular of all concert works.

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May 11
7:30 pm
Event Category:




The Mendel Center
1100 Yore Ave
Benton Harbor, MI 49022 United States
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