Thursday, January 2, 2014

January, 2014

SHEET MUSIC for my songs is now available on www.musicnotes.com!  This makes it faster, cheaper, and more convenient for you to get hold of my best songs. "Pour Me A Man" and "Pour Me A Man: Encore" and a number of others are now available, and additional songs will be added in the near future.

Coming up on March 1: "American Showstoppers: Jerry Herman," my fourth concert with the Fred Barton Orchestra at Pace University's Schimmel Center, devoted to both rare and well-known songs of Jerry Herman.  Cast members include Beth Leavel, Klea Blackhurst, Lee Roy Reams, Karen Murphy, Damon Kirsche, Toni DiBuono, Jeffry Denman, Jesse Luttrell, Lianne Dobbs, AJ Hunsucker, and the Scott Thompson Dancers.



My previous "American Showstoppers" concert took place October 12, presenting comparatively rare Richard Rodgers songs.  Performers included the incomparable Joshua Henry, Tari Kelly, Damon Kirsche, Jeffry Denman, Anastasia Barzee, David Elder, and Karen Murphy.  Watch the video for just one of the 24 numbers I presented:  




My symphonic orchestrations this fall included:

• "The Music Of Kander & Ebb," Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Jack Everly, starring Beth Leavel and Ted Keegan

• "American Voices" with Renée Fleming and the National Symphony, conducted by Steven Reineke

• A huge Motown Christmas medley for the Indianapolis Symphony's annual Yuletide Extravaganza, starring Sandi Patty & The Von Trapp Family Singers

•  "Have Yourself A Merry Little Chistmas" for Tony DeSare's Christmas concerts with the Naples Philharmonic and Jacksonville Symphony – click to hear:



• Two Christmas medleys for Emily Drennan's Christmas concerts with the Muncie Symphony Orchestra

• New orchestration for Kirby Ward's and Joan Hess's symphony engagements

• Songs for the Oklahoma City Philharmonic's Christmas spectacular, conducted by Joel Levine and starring George Dvorsky and Gwendolyn Jones

My theatre piece MISS GULCH RETURNS! celebrated its 30th Anniversary with a fine new production in New Orleans, under the auspices of the Running With Scissors Theatre Company, garnering its customary rave reviews:  "An inventive work that is consistently surprising, delivering nuance and honest substance.  These are smartly written tunes with internal rhyme schemes that would challenge even Stephen Sondheim.  Most Broadway scores pale in comparison to the wittiness of Barton's score."  (New Orleans Times-Picayune)

2014 brings a number of bookings of Steven Reineke's concert "Music Of The Mad Men Era," with several of my orchestrations, including one of my best new concoctions, a symphonic fantasia of TV crime themes.  Performers include Cheyenne Jackson (at Disney Hall in Los Angeles) and Ryan Silverman (with the Edmonton Symphony and other major orchestras.)  Cheyenne Jackson sang my orchestrations at Carnegie Hall,and Ryan Silverman has sung my orchestrations with the Indianapolis Symphony and others, and also appeared with my Fred Barton Orchestra in my Harold Arlen tribute.  

Megan Hilty and the Boston Pops brought down the house last May with my symphonic arrangements of her signature songs.  She'll be performing them with symphonies around the country in 2014.

I'm currently producing a CD for New-York-based singer Jesse Luttrell – part big-band, part Dixieland, part vaudeville - to be recorded in early 2014. 



Here's a little sample from my March "American Showstoppers" concert, with the Fred Barton Orchestra, honoring Jule Styne:




Some other recent events:

• ONE FOR MY BABY, the new Harold Arlen musical for which I provided arrangements and co-wrote the book, got a nice write-up as it continues to wend its way inexorably to Broadway (a London production is in the works):  Read here

"THE MAGIC SCHOOLBUS," the Emmy-Award-winning TV series starring Lily Tomlin, with music by Peter Lurye and Fred Barton, is now available on Netflix and is .

Jack Everly continues to conduct dozens of my arrangements and orchestrations in his concerts around the country.

Meanwhile, my TV shows continue to play for kids of drastically different ages: look for "Wonder Pets!" on Nick Jr., and "Cathouse: The Musical" on HBO, as well as "The Magic Schoolbus" if you're in various countries overseas.