PORTLAND – Merrill Auditorium will swing to the sounds of the swing era when Music Director Toshiyuki Shimada and the Portland Symphony Pops present “Bravo Big Band!” March 27 and 28.

Performances will be at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 27, and at 2:30 p.m. Sunday, March 28.

Joined by singers Michael Maguire and Lynn Roberts, the PSO will re-create the Big Band era, performing compositions that span a century of music. Featured will be classics made famous by Duke Ellington, Glenn Miller, Frank Sinatra and the Dorsey brothers.

Saxophone, flute and clarinet player Bill Holcombe’s jazzy arrangements include sparkling and fresh renditions of such classics as “In the Mood,” “New York, New York,” “The Lady is a Tramp” and “String of Pearls.”

Roberts has performed throughout the United States, Europe, Japan and Israel. Roberts has the distinction of being the only female singer to have sung with all these superstar band leaders.

She recently completed her new CD, “The Men in My Life,” using the big band Reunion, made up of musicians from the Air Men of Note and the U.S. Navy Commanders.

Maguire played Enjolras in the original Broadway company of “Les Miserables” for which he won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Theater World Award, and was featured on the cover of Newsweek.

He repeated that performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London as a member of the cast celebrating the 10th anniversary of “Les Miserables.”

He has sung with more than 120 symphony orchestras nationwide. He has starred nationally in musicals such as “Carousel,” “Brigadoon,” “Kismet,” “Annie Get Your Gun” and “Showboat.”

His first solo CD, with Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops, has sold more than 250,000 copies.

Holcombe, a master flutist, is also prolific on the clarinet and saxophone. He is primarily known as an arranger and composer for concert bands, symphony orchestras and big bands.

As a Decca staff player, Holcombe had the opportunity to work with legends such as Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, Sammy Davis, Pearl Bailey, Mills Brothers, Steve Allen and Artie Shaw. In recent years, he’s appeared as a soloist with many symphony orchestras around the country. He also is the leader and soprano saxophone player in the Philadelphia Saxophone Quartet.

Merrill Auditorium is in Portland’s City Hall. Tickets are $49, $42, $34, $25 and $15. They may be purchased at the PortTix box office (open noon to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday); by calling (207) 840-0800; and online at www.port-


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