GALLIPOLIS — With last year’s Songs of Rural America pops concert seen nationwide on television and held in the Ariel Opera House, the Ohio Valley Symphony has decided to add more pops tunes to its performing repertoire.
Maestro Tim Berens and Broadway tenor Mike Eldred return to the Ariel Opera House for a Salute to Our Veterans concert on Nov. 9. The event begins at 7:30 p.m.
The concert will feature four world premieres of music by Tim and Louise Berens. These premieres include new arrangements of the classics “When Johnny Comes Marching Home,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic,” “Danny Boy” and a brand new composition entitled “Messages from Mount Rushmore” by Tim and Louise Berens.
Messages from Mount Rushmore was inspired by a 2008 visit to Mount Rushmore, when Tim wondered “What would they have to say to us today?” The piece contains wise, stirring, funny and inspirational quotes from George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt, accompanied by rousing music. Their messages offer guidance to navigating our modern, hectic world.
Berens’ multi-faceted career gives testament to his lifelong quest to learn, perform and write music. So far, his venture has led him through the worlds of classical guitar, jazz guitar, orchestral guitar, arranging, orchestration, composition, and conducting.
During his years as the guitarist for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, Berens played guitar, banjo, mandolin and bouzouki on concerts, recordings, television programs, and tours. Beginning in the late 1990’s, Berens began arranging for the CPO, eventually becoming the orchestra’s principal arranger. His arrangements are regularly performed in venues from Carnegie Hall to the Kennedy Center to the Hollywood Bowl.
Eldred appeared on Broadway in “Les Miserables” as Jean Valjean, and in the original cast of the Tony-nominated “The Civil War.” He performed in the 25th anniversary tour of “Jesus Christ Superstar” and starred as The Tenor in the 2010 national concert tour of “Handel’s Messiah Rocks.” His starring role as Tony in the Nashville Symphony’s production of “West Side Story” has earned international praise as “arguably the best ‘Tony’ on record.” The cast recording featuring Eldred was released on NAXOS International.