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OC Symphony Pulls out the Stops

Singer Ellen Rentz will grace the
Convention Center, July 7th.

By Michel Buss, 2012-05-02
The Orange County Symphony (Anaheim’s resident orchestra) is certainly pulling out the stops for this coming year. In organ terminology that means making louder music!

For the first time ever the Symphony Orchestra will be playing in the main arena of the Anaheim Convention Center on July 7th to kick off a series of large scale musical events. Aptly titled “Pops at the Anaheim Convention Center” the event will take the place of the Symphony’s Annual Gala. You will be able to sit at the tables near the orchestra and either order from the menu, or bring your own food and wine. This, by the way, is an amazing concession for those of you who love to picnic in grand style while listening to live concerts, as though you were at the Hollywood Bowl. Were I not, unfortunately, due to be in New York at the time I would book a table for ten, grab a bunch of friends to join me at $50 per head, prepare the food myself and get where the music is. Each guest to bring their own beverage.

I suggest you jump on this one quickly and make a reservation soon. And if you’re not into getting a group together for a table, you may sit in the stands where ticket prices vary from $15-$35. The program will contain selections from the movies including Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Pirates of the Caribbean, West Side Story and much more. I heard much of this program at the Symphony on Birch Street last year and I can vouch for this, it will be electric! Seriously, the Pacific Symphony could do no better. More details and tickets here.

Lead vocalist
The lead vocalist for the Gala will be Ellen Rentz – probably new to many of us in OC. Ellen got her start as a professional singer as a teenager in Pelham, New York. She was soon playing lead female roles at the Scarsdale Summer Music Theater, including Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes and Rosemary Pilkington in How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying.

When Ellen moved to New York City in 2001 (after majoring in theater at Washington University in Saint Louis), she was signed as the lead singer of the Philip James Orchestra, a jazz combo that served as the house band of the New York Athletic Club on Central Park South. A versatile singer and performer, she also worked regularly as a professional early music performer, most notably with Guildsingers, an ensemble specializing in music of the fifteenth century.

Supporting the Symphony

Musical Director Dr. David Rentz will take the
podium on July 7th.

Not only will the Symphony now have a higher profile than ever but it has also formed a new Concerto Guild. This is a support organization (of which I am a charter member) to enhance awareness of OCS in the community, build concert attendance and engage in fund raising. An initial 38 good folks have already signed up, and if you love symphonic music, I might suggest you too sign up. Watch out for us. We might be handing you a program at the door, or writing to you asking for sponsorship. The Guild has only had a couple of meetings to date and is in process of drawing up its bylaws so that everything can be done correctly.

Now, this article is more than just news. It’s also an encouragement to you to support the OC Symphony and boost the resurgence of orchestral music. Even if you don’t become one of the busy bees in the Concerto Guild you may still be a Sustaining Member of the OCS See the application form here. And a range of donor opportunities is also available with considerable perks and privileges. Follow the links and see for yourself.

Coming up
Sunday June 3rd will see music director Dr. David Rentz back on stage with the OCS for “The Mayor’s Concert.” You may remember that at this time last year Mayor Tom Tait proudly announced that the OC Symphony would be Anaheim’s resident Orchestra. The program looks delicious:

Johannes Brahms, Variations on a Theme by Haydn
Robert Schumann, Cello Concerto - Esther Chu, cello
Antonin Dvořák, Symphonic Variations

From July 15-17th you have the opportunity to sit under the stars in lovely downtown Brea and listen to the music waft down Birch Street as you drink a cool margarita or chow down at any one of a great number of restaurants. It’s place to gather with friends and luxuriate in one of those perfect evenings.

The magical Symphony on Birch Street - 2011



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