Performance Friday, October 14, 2011 | 8 PM

The New York Pops


Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage
“Irving Berlin has no place in American music. He is American music,” declared Jerome Kern. Jack Everly conducts an all-star cast in a stirring program that includes “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” “Blue Skies” and “Puttin’ on the Ritz.”


  • The New York Pops
  • Jack Everly, Guest Conductor
  • Ashley Brown, Guest Artist
  • Tony DeSare, Guest Artist
  • James T. Lane, Guest Artist
  • Hugh Panaro, Guest Artist
  • NaTasha Yvette Williams, Guest Artist


  • The New York Pops

    The New York Pops is the largest independent pops orchestra in the United States, and the only professional symphonic orchestra in New York City specializing in popular music. Led by Music Director Steven Reineke, the orchestra performs an annual subscription series and birthday gala at Carnegie Hall, enjoying one of its highest subscription renewal rates. The New York Pops was founded by Skitch Henderson in 1983 with a mission to create greater public awareness and appreciation of America’s rich musical heritage. In addition to performing at Carnegie Hall, The New York Pops tours throughout the world and gives free concerts in New York City parks. The New York Pops’ extensive education programs allow thousands of public schoolchildren to participate in concert and music-making experiences at Carnegie Hall and in schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City.

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  • Jack Everly

    Jack Everly is the principal pops conductor of the Baltimore and Indianapolis symphony orchestras, the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, as well as music director of the National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth PBS television specials. This season, he made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut at the Hollywood Bowl, returned to The Cleveland Orchestra, and appears as guest conductor in Pittsburgh, Edmonton, and Detroit.

    Mr. Everly is the music director of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra’s Yuletide Celebration, now a 26-year tradition. These theatrical symphonic holiday concerts are presented each December in Indianapolis and are seen by more than 40,000 concertgoers. Mr. Everly led the ISO in its first pops recording, Yuletide Celebration, Volume One, including three of his own arrangements.

    Originally appointed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, Mr. Everly was conductor of the American Ballet Theatre Orchestra for 14 years, where he also served as music director. In addition to his tenure at ABT, he has teamed with Marvin Hamlisch in Broadway shows that include The Goodbye Girl, They’re Playing Our Song, and A Chorus Line. He conducted Carol Channing in two separate Broadway productions of Hello, Dolly!

    Mr. Everly has conducted songs from Disney’s animated classic The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and led the Czech Philharmonic on the recordings In the Presence, featuring tenor Daniel Rodriguez, and Broadway Stories, featuring Sandi Patty. He also conducted the critically praised Everything’s Coming Up Roses: The Complete Overtures of Broadway’s Jule Styne, and was music director for numerous Broadway cast recordings.

    In 1998, Mr. Everly created the Symphonic Pops Consortium, and serves as its music director. The Consortium, based in Indianapolis, produces a new theatrical pops program each season. During the past 12 years, more than 225 performances of SPC programs have taken place across the US and Canada, including this season’s Mysterioso: Music, Magic & Mayhem.

    Mr. Everly holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts degree from Franklin College, in his home state of Indiana.

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  • Ashley Brown

    Ashley Brown originated the title role of Mary Poppins on Broadway, for which she received Outer Critics, Drama League, and Drama Desk nominations for Best Actress. She also garnered a 2010 Garland Award for Best Performance in a Musical for her performance in the national tour of Mary Poppins, starred as Belle in Beauty and the Beast on Broadway, and appeared in the national tour of Disney’s On the Record. Ashley has performed with the Boston Pops, the New York Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra at Disney Hall, the Pittsburgh Symphony opposite Shirley Jones, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, the Cincinnati Pops, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, and the BBC Orchestra opposite Josh Groban. Future projects include a PBS special, concerts at the Kennedy Center, and appearances with orchestras in Detroit, Fort Worth, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City, Memphis, and Houston. Ashley made her cabaret debut to great acclaim at the renowned Feinstein’s at Loews Regency in New York City. Her long-awaited debut album of American Songbook standards, entitled Speak Low, was released in 2010. Ashley made her debut at the La Jolla Playhouse in a production of Limelight, based on the life of Charlie Chaplin.

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  • Tony DeSare

    A singer, pianist, and songwriter whose third CD, Radio Show, was recently released by Telarc Records, Tony DeSare was named a Rising Star Male Vocalist in the Downbeat Critics Poll. He has won acclaim for his concerts throughout the US, as well as in Australia, Japan, and Hong Kong. His international tour took him from the Algonquin’s Oak Room in New York, to London, Los Angeles, Boston, Seattle, St. Louis, and Palm Beach. “Let’s Just Stay In,” one of his original songs, was featured in the 20th Century Fox film Tooth Fairy, starring Dwayne Johnson, Ashley Judd, and Julie Andrews.

    Tony’s second recording, Last First Kiss, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard chart, No. 3 on, and No. 2 on the iTunes jazz chart, and was featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition Saturday. He performed selections from Want You, his debut CD, on national broadcasts of the CBS Early Show and NBC’s Weekend Today. Tony composed and performed the theme to the hit documentary My Date with Drew, titled “If I Had Drew.”

    Tony was born and raised in Glens Falls, New York, to a musical family. He began singing and playing professionally at 17. By the time he started college, he had opened for visiting headliners and built a large regional following, playing to packed houses. Shortly after moving to New York City, Tony was cast as the star of the long running Off-Broadway musical smash Our Sinatra. He has performed at major jazz rooms like Birdland and the Blue Note with his quartet, posh nightclubs like the Café Carlyle and Feinstein’s at Loews Regency, with his big band in concert halls like Jazz at Lincoln Center, and with a 60-piece orchestra.

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  • James T. Lane

    A native of Philadelphia, James Tyrone Lane recently starred in the hit Broadway show The Scottsboro Boys, playing the dual roles of Ozie Powell and Ruby Bates. James made his Broadway debut as Richie Walters in the hit revival of A Chorus Line, and continued on Broadway with Chicago as Aaron and later as Amos Hart. In concert, he has performed with The New York Pops, the Indianapolis Pops, the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. In regional theater productions, he has appeared in Cole Porter’s The Pirate, Dreamgirls at the Prince Music Theater, and Finnian’s Rainbow at the Walnut Street Theatre. James has been featured in two national tours, Fame and Cinderella, and has guest starred on the television show One Life to Live.

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  • Hugh Panaro

    Hugh Panaro returned to Broadway’s Majestic Theater last fall, where he currently stars as the Phantom in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera. Hugh is one of the few performers to have been cast by Harold Prince as both the Phantom and Raoul in the Broadway production. Hugh starred in the title role of Lestat, Sir Elton John’s Broadway musical based on Anne Rice’s The Vampire Chronicles, for which he received an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination. He has created numerous other Broadway leading roles, including Buddy in Side Show; Julian Craster in Jule Styne’s last musical, The Red Shoes; and the title role in the American premiere of Cameron Mackintosh’s Martin Guerre.

    Born in Pennsylvania, Hugh is a graduate of Temple University and the recipient of the Boyer College of Music’s Certificate of Honor. Shortly after moving to New York, he made his Broadway debut as Marius in Les Misérables. He performed the role of Gaylord Ravenal in Harold Prince’s Showboat, both on Broadway and in London’s West End. Hugh performed the leading role of Bobby in Stephen Sondheim’s Company at the 5th Avenue Theater in Seattle, as well as the role of Anthony Hope in Sweeney Todd, part of the Kennedy Center’s Sondheim Celebration in Washington, DC.

    In concert, Hugh performed with Barbra Streisand on her very first European tour, and has also performed with symphony orchestras across the US and Europe. He was honored to be the guest of the late, great Jule Styne for The Broadway Hour, a live radio broadcast, and can be heard on numerous other recordings, including the original cast recording of Side Show, the original soundtrack of Disney’s Prince of Egypt, Jerome Kern Treasury, Broadway’s Fabulous Phantoms, Kurt Weill—The Centennial, Tap Your Troubles Away!, and Life Upon the Wicked Stage.

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  • NaTasha Yvette Williams

    NaTasha Yvette Williams has been a featured singer with the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, the Naples Philharmonic, and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. On Broadway, NaTasha has appeared as Sofia in The Color Purple and in Dessa Rose at Lincoln Center, and she was Mammy in Trevor Nunn’s West End production of Gone with the Wind. On national tours, NaTasha has performed the roles of Melpomene in Xanadu, Trix the Aviatrix in The Drowsy Chaperone, Sylvia in All Shook Up, Sour Kangaroo in Seussical the Musical, Grace in Cinderella, and Mrs. Crosby in The Goodbye Girl. She has also appeared as Motormouth Maybelle in Hairspray and in Ain’t Misbehavin’ at Paper Mill Playhouse, and as Mahalia in Mahalia at the Cleveland Play House.

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"How Deep is the Ocean" (Berlin)
Tony DeSare

The Program

It is my great honor to welcome you to the opening night of The New York Pops’ 29th season! I’m sorry I can’t be with you this evening. As some of you may know, I’ve recently been named principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra, and tonight is my inaugural concert with that ensemble at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC. However, I’m delighted to introduce your conductor for the evening, my dear friend Maestro Jack Everly. You are in good hands with Jack—I’ve known him for many years, and I promise you that his programs never disappoint. As if that weren’t enough, we have a tremendous group of guest artists performing tonight as well. The program features the incredible talents of Ashley Brown, Tony DeSare, James T. Lane, Hugh Panaro, and NaTasha Yvette Williams.

For an organization that prides itself in keeping the American Songbook alive, it is truly fitting that we begin the season by celebrating composer Irving Berlin. From Broadway musicals to popular melodies, he did it all. Beginning in the 1920s, Mr. Berlin’s music uniquely captured the character of American society, which faced two world wars as well as the Great Depression. His music marched to war with the soldiers, offered hope and inspiration to a nation during hard financial times, and rejoiced in the spirit of the American way of life. Tonight, I hope this timeless music can work its magic and uplift us all.

A true example of the American dream, Irving Berlin was a Russian immigrant who grew up in poverty in Manhattan’s Lower East Side and worked his way to the top. He went from singing on street corners to writing the music and lyrics for Broadway classics like Annie Get Your Gun. He wrote the soundtracks to such films as Holiday Inn, Easter Parade, and White Christmas, and his music was sung by the likes of Fred Astaire, Ginger Rogers, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby, and Rosemary Clooney. Mr. Berlin built a career that most artists only dream about, but then again, it takes a special talent to win the heart of America.

Irving Berlin wrote many amazing songs, but his true legacy and gift was his ability to represent the American people as a whole. His tunes give voice to our fears, regrets, and hopes in a most compelling way. Now, as the song goes, “There’s No Business Like Show Business,” so let’s get on with the show!

—Steven Reineke

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Sponsored by Ernst & Young LLP
This performance is part of The New York Pops, and All About Pops.