MONMOUTH — The Augusta Symphony Orchestra has announced a one-night-only 1930s pops concert and silent auction at 7 p.m. on Saturday, March 16 at Cumston Hall.

The 1930s-era was a swinging decade, packed with new sounds on the stage, screen and radio. Some of Broadway’s most popular shows premiered in the 30s, such as Anything Goes and Porgy and Bess.

The radio hit its zenith of popularity, with more than 80 percent of Americans owning a set by 1939 while Hollywood entered its “Golden Age,” producing one hit film after another, hoping to distract its audiences from the struggles of the Great Depression.

In addition to the timeless music being created in the States, overseas in Russia, a children’s classic that would also stand the test of time came to life.

In 1936, Sergei Prokofiev was commissioned by the Central Children’s Theatre in Moscow and Russian music teacher and director of the Moscow Musical Theater for Children, Natalya Sats, to create a new musical symphony for children. In a breathtaking four days, Prokofiev produced the children’s classic Peter and the Wolf.

On March 16, the ASO will present a concert filled with the popular tunes of the 30s and a special performance of Peter and the Wolf, narrated by broadcaster, actor and singer Suzanne Nance. Lauded as the “Queen of Classical,” Suzanne is currently the music director for Maine Public Broadcasting Network.

Nance has performed with opera companies, orchestras and musicians in the U.S. and in Europe, most recently in Prague, London, Philadelphia, Chicago and across Maine. A recipient of the David Leibig Memorial Grant and Robert J. Lurtsema Scholarship Award for performance of and dedication to classical music, Nance has enjoyed performances on PBS and NPR as well as a guest appearance on Good Morning America. Currently, she produces and hosts the weekday morning classical music program from 9 a.m. to noon on MPBN Radio.

Selections from the 30s will include Summertime, a medley of Cole Porter Favorites, highlights from Show Boat, The Way You Look Tonight, and I Got Rhythm. ASO music director, Paul Ross, conducts.

The evening will also include a silent auction.

Future performances of the ASO include two performances of Beethoven’s Symphony #8 and Mozart’s Piano Concerto #23, featuring piano soloist Virginia Eskin.

There will be two performances, both at 7 p.m., the first on Saturday, April 27 at the High Street Congregational Church in Auburn, and then on Sunday, April 28 at the Hope Baptist Church in Manchester.

Tickets are $15 for adults and $5 for children and can be purchased at www.brownpapertickets.com by entering “Cumston” under event.

For more information, visit www.asomaine.org or email [email protected]


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