The New York Pops’ 35th Birthday Gala, Part of His World: The Songs of Alan Menken was held on Monday, April 30, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Carnegie Hall.
The concert additionally featured 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 performed Steven Reineke’s Celebration Fanfare.
Kids on Stage participants included: Leonard Bruckner, 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 paid tribute to Corporate Honoree American Airlines, and Foundation Honoree Hillary and Bill Weldon of the Gracie and Hope Foundation.
The star studded evening started of with “Suddenly, Seymour,” from Little Shop of Horrors with Broadway’s Audra, Kerry Butler and Corey Cott
The original Little Mermaid, Jodi Benson dazzled with “Part of Your World”.
Not to be out done, Ursula under the guise of Harvey Fierstein, brought “Poor Unfortunate Souls,” from The Little Mermaid to life.
From the original Broadway production of Aladdin came Adam Jacobs with”Proud of Your Boy”
and a recreation of the Tony Award winning performance of James Monroe Iglehart’s “Friend Like Me”.
Judy Kuhn recreated her vocals for with “Colors of the Wind”, from Pocahontas with
From the The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Michael Arden brought down the house with “Out There, from”.
A powerhouse “Zero to Hero” from Hercules with Cheryl Freeman, Roz Ryan, Vaneese Thomas and Lillias White
“Go the Distance” from Hercules with Roger Bart was hilarious.
Recreating “Fabulous, Baby!” from Sister Act the fabulous Patina Miller.
Representing Alan Menken on Broadway “One of the Great Ones,” from A Bronx Tale with Nick Cordero.
“High Times, Hard Times,” from Newsies brought out Ashley Brown and the adorable Children of Ronald McDonald House New York
The Camp Broadway Kids Ensemble strutted their stuff with “Seize the Day,” from Newsies.
The original Belle on Broadway Susan Egan reminded us of “Home” from Beauty and the Beast.
The highlight of the night was Angela Lansbury sining the iconic “Beauty and the Beast” from Beauty and the Beast with Alan Menken on piano.
Finishing this glorious evening was a medley with “A Whole New World,”” King of New York,”” That’s How You Know,”” I See the Light,” and “Under the Sea” with Alan Menken on vocals and piano. He was joined on “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast for a terrific encore.
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 supported the organization’s PopsEd music education programs. The concert is followed by a black tie dinner and dance at the Mandarin Oriental New York.