Amarillo Symphony to salute Broadway in November pops concerts

Last Updated by Chip Chandler on
Singer Whitney Claire Kaufman will perform with Amarillo Symphony.

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

A pair of guest artists will help the Amarillo Symphony pay tribute to the best of musical theater and more in the orchestra's November pops concerts.

Singer Whitney Claire Kaufman and conductor Steven Jarvi will join the symphony for its Broadway Blockbusters concerts at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St. Tickets are $31 to $41, plus fees, Friday and $31 to $55, plus fees, Saturday.

"Steven and I wanted to come up with a program that incorporated Broadway favorites and perhaps some unique pieces that aren't as well known, and it just turned out that a lot of these Broadway songs were also in movie versions of the shows," Kaufman said in an email interview. "We're touching on music from the Golden Age of Broadway with things like Oklahoma! and Hello, Dolly! all the way to the more modern Broadway shows like Little Mermaid and Les Misérables."

Jarvi called it "sort of a Hollywood lens on Broadway."

"We kind of combined in this program her love of film themes and Broadway tunes."

Expect to hear songs from The Producers, State Fair, Phantom of the Opera, Cabaret, Beauty and the Beast, Mamma Mia!, The Music Man and other musical theater standards.

"There are SO many great songs out there," Kaufman wrote. "It was hard to pick for sure, but we looked at all the music as a collection and how we could take the audience on a journey of musical memories. I love singing Broadway songs because of the story telling and the great melodies.. There's something about these songs that speaks to everyone in some way through the character's stories."

The symphony won't cede the spotlight, Jarvi said.

"It's not just Whitney Claire Kaufman out front," he said. "We celebrate the orchestra as being the stars as well. ... The South Pacific arrangement we're doing is a long, lush, orchestral score, almost a tone poem created out of South Pacific music."

Putting the orchestra first not only fits the philosophy of Jacomo Bairos, the orchestra's music director and conductor, but also Jarvi's own as a frequent guest conductor.

"I love the process of guest conducting," he said. "It's actually my favorite thing to do.

"You come in and show them what you're all about and hopefully, everything gels and everybody has a great experience and then you take off before it's too late," he said, laughing.

Kaufman, an actor and singer whose concert career has taken her around the world, said she also enjoys traveling for work.

"I am so grateful that I get to see the world, sing great music, meet new people, and generally expand my perspective. Working with musicians from around the world is so interesting," she wrote. "There's something different about each place and yet so similar. Music really is the universal language."



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and at on Facebook.

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