It was one of the most memorable nights of music ever heard in the Pavilion at the legendary French Woods as the French Woods Symphony Orchestra of 62 camp musicians was augmented by 15 Staff members and 15 members of The New York Pops under the baton of Maestro Steven Reineke, it’s music director and conductor.
The resulting concert titled Side By Side 2017 which featured Ashley Brown and Christopher Johnstone together with camp soloists Juliet Perel & Evan Schacter had the 500 plus camper audience giving standing ovations and wild cheering after each selection. Maestro Reineke together with Brian Worsdale, the artistic director and conductor at French Woods put together a program which consisted of movie film scores and Broadway blockbusters. If anyone doubts the appreciation and knowledge the current generation have for the great music produced by America one had only to look around at the overjoyed faces of the French Woods campers as the glorious sounds of the 92 musicians and soloists filled the summer air with their fantastic performances. Hearing Ashley Brown & Christopher Johnstone sing “Music of the NIght” from Phantom of the Opera” accompanied by the expanded French Woods Symphony, surrounded by the beauty of upstate New York is beyond verbal description.
The New York Pops is one of the finest Pops orchestras in the country and the French Woods Symphony Orchestra is also worthy of playing on that stage of Carnegie Hall that is the home of The Pops. After being at French Woods for two days, which started with former camper Jason Robert Brown’s concert I wish I could go to a summer camp like this!
(For another article by Stephen & complete photos of this event go to Broadwayworld.com)