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The Regina Symphony Orchestra is changing its tune for a season-opening performance on Saturday night at the Conexus Arts Centre.
RSO has recruited the gang from Jeans ‘n Classics for a special presentation of Back to Back: Elton John and Billy Joel. The Ontario-based musicians from Jeans ‘n Classics specialize in performing with orchestras across North America, combining classic rock with the power of a symphony.
“For 23 years now, the JnC approach to combining world-class rock musicians and symphonies has been a game-changer for orchestras in their quest to attract new and more expansive audiences,” says a media release. “Jeans ’n Classics is a group of musicians who understand orchestra culture and are committed to help in the building of younger, loyal audiences for symphony orchestras across North America.”
Saturday’s concert recognizes two of rock ‘n’ roll’s piano masters. The first half is dedicated to the music of Billy Joel, including selections like Big Shot, Movin’ Out, and Piano Man. After the intermission, a tribute to Elton John includes hits like Tiny Dancer, Circle of Life, and Rocket Man.
Jeans ‘n Classics frontman Jean Meilleur and his band have performed with RSO in the past, including last year’s popular tribute to Pink Floyd.
Prior to that show, Meilleur told the Leader-Post that it’s hard to describe the experience of performing alongside an orchestra, calling it “emotional and physical at the same time.”
“A lot of people might come in thinking it’s sort of a gimmick,” he said. “Then they hear it and they’re like, ‘Holy cow!’
“We have the guitars, we have the drums, we have the bass, so we have the (full) rock band (experience). But when they hear the symphony behind that … I think they’re really surprised and really blown away by how it does work and how it really translates musically.
“It’s very, very powerful.”
The RSO Soundcheck Program offers discounted tickets for those under the age of 30. They can attend any RSO concert for only $20.
More information at reginasymphony.com.
NOTE: Country star Brett Kissel, who was slated to visit the Conexus Arts Centre on Oct 8, has rescheduled the show to Feb 2. Current tickets will remain valid for the new date. Refunds are available until Sept 26 at 4 p.m. Call 306-525-9999 with questions.