Kerry Butler (Audrey in the Broadway production of Little Shop of Horrors), and Cheryl Freeman, Roz Ryan, Vaneese Thomas, and Lillias White (voices of the Muses in Disney’s animated classic Hercules) will join The New York Pops, led by Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, for its 35th Birthday Gala, Part of His World: The Songs of Alan Menken on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. in Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, presented by The New York Pops.
They join previously announced guest artists who have played pivotal roles performing and working with Alan Menken and include: Michael Arden (Quasimodo in Paper Mill Playhouse’s production of The Hunchback of Notre Dame), Roger Bart (the title role in Disney’s film version of Hercules), Jodi Benson (Ariel in Disney’s film version of The Little Mermaid), Ashley Brown (Belle in the Broadway production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast), Nick Cordero (Sonny in the Broadway production of A Bronx Tale), Susan Egan (Belle in the original cast of the Broadway production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, and Meg in the film version of Disney’s Hercules), Harvey Fierstein (book writer for the Broadway production of Disney’s Newsies), James Monroe Iglehart (the Genie in the original cast of the Broadway production of Disney’s Aladdin), Adam Jacobs (the title role in the original cast of the Broadway production of Disney’s Aladdin), Judy Kuhn (the singing voice of the title role in Disney’s film Pocahontas), and Patina Miller (Deloris Van Cartier in the original Broadway and London casts of Sister Act).
The concert additionally features participants from The New York Pops’ Kids On Stage program which provides middle school students access to the professional performance process through an audition process, comprehensive rehearsal period, and final performance with the orchestra on the Carnegie Hall stage. Students will perform Steven Reineke’s Celebration Fanfare.
Kids On Stage participants include: Leonard Brucker, cello (8th grade, United Nations International School); Russell Dingle, percussion, (8th grade, IS 318); Mariagrazia Giusto, oboe (8th grade, IS 318); Ryan Hau, double bass (6th grade, OMP); Gabriella Javier, trumpet (7th grade, IS 75); Lana-Kaye Pool, clarinet (8th grade, IS 318); Leandra Kalra, trumpet (7th grade, IS 318); Robert Keirstead, violin (7th grade, St Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s); Sophia Kschwendt, violin (8th grade, Hunter College High School); Christopher LeDoux, trumpet (6th grade, IS 75); Jake Li, clarinet (8th grade, IS 239); Devon Mendel-Williams, percussion (8th grade, IS 318); Elinor Ott, violin (6th grade, Bell Academy); Adriano Piscopo, violin (8th grade, IS 239); Naamia Rivera, flute (8th grade, IS 318); Andrew Safara, baritone horn (7th grade, IS 75); Guarionex Tavares, trombone (8th grade, IS 318); Gregory Taylor Jr., horn (8th grade, IS 318); Victor Veytsman, flute (8th grade, Brooklyn School of Inquiry); and Andrew Wu, clarinet (6th grade, IS 239).
The gala evening also pays tribute to Corporate Honoree American Airlines, and Foundation Honoree Hillary and Bill Weldon of the Gracie and Hope Foundation.
Honorary co-chairs for the event include Ashley Brown, Whoopi Goldberg, Jeremy Jordan, Audra McDonald, Sir Tim Rice, and Bernard Telsey.
Proceeds from the Gala support the organization’s PopsEd music education programs. The concert is followed by a black tie dinner and dance at the Mandarin Oriental New York.