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Pops is tops at MSO performance at theater

September 18, 1999|By JULIE E. GREENE

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra enchanted a packed house at The Maryland Theatre on Saturday night with its first sold-out Pops concert.

"We'll have to seriously look at adding a second show next year," said Managing Director Marc Levy.

This was the fourth consecutive year Home Federal Savings Bank has sponsored the Pops concert, starting with a performance in Doub Woods, said Richard Phoebus, the bank's president.

The symphony treated the audience to a first half of Rodgers & Hammerstein and finished up with the music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

This was the first MSO concert in the theater since Elizabeth Schulze began her three-year tenure as music director on July 1.

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After a three-hour practice Saturday afternoon, Schulze said she was excited about Saturday night's concert.

"The orchestra is very flexible, able to switch gears and play pop music with a lot of energy and soul," she said.

The symphony was joined for the "Bravo Broadway" concert by guest singers Jan Horvath, a soprano; Michael Maguire, a tenor; and Doug LaBrecque, a baritone - all of whom have worked before with Schulze.

"You've got a great treat in store for you for years to come. She's just a wonderful music director," Maguire told the full house in the theater, which seats 1,325.

The audience was buzzing with anticipation before the curtain went up.

Richard Gagliardi was excited about the Pops concert because he knows the songs.

The evening's entertainment included "The Carousel Waltz" from "Carousel," "Some Enchanted Evening" from "South Pacific," "Shall We Dance?" from "The King & I," "The Surrey With the Fringe on Top" from "Oklahoma!" and Lloyd Webber's "Sunset Boulevard" and "Music of the Night."

Gagliardi, of Hagerstown, said Schulze was an excellent choice as the new music director.

"She seems passionate about what she does," said Gagliardi's wife, Sandra.

Grace Edlund of Hagerstown said she and her friends try not to miss a Pops concert.

"It makes everybody feel good," she said.

Her neighbor, Thomas Gilliam, said he gave up a night of ballroom dancing at the Knights of Columbus to attend the Pops concert with his wife.

Gilliam, 78, said he would make up for the dancing today at Pen Mar Park.

St. James School librarian Jennifer Sherman attended the night's concert with three students who wanted to see their music teacher, Robert Grab, play trumpet.

"We're also here to listen to Broadway music," said junior Kyle Bruse, 16, of McLean, Va.

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