IA/IL QUAD-CITIES – Singer/pianist Michael Cavanaugh was marked for greatness when he was picked by Billy Joel to perform in the Broadway musical, Movin’ Out. On Sept. 6, the Broadway star will open the 100th Season of stellar Quad City Symphony Orchestra (QCSO) performances when he performs The Songs of Elton John & More at the Quad City Bank & Trust Riverfront Pops Concert.
Cavanaugh’s performance will begin at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 6, 2014 at LeClaire Park in Davenport, IA. The park will open for picnicking at 3:00 p.m. The music starts with a special performance by the pop/rock group Minus Six and the Quad City Youth Symphony Orchestra at 5 p.m. The QCSO will give away 2,500 Whitey’s Ice Cream cups at the beginning of the show in honor of the 100th Anniversary.
Tickets for Riverfront Pops are available at Quad City Bank & Trust, Whitey's Ice Cream, Ticket Master, and the QCSO box office at 327 Brady St., Davenport. You can also call the QCSO at (563) 322-7276 or visit www.qcso.org. Group discounts and VIP seats are available. Mention code M6 when purchasing tickets through the box office to enter a drawing for a $400 Bose Sound Bar, courtesy of Zeglin’s TV & Appliance.
Cavanaugh’s second collaboration with the QCSO, The Songs of Elton John & More will include his celebrated renditions of “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,” “Benny and the Jets,” “Rocket Man,” “Crocodile Rock,” “Candle in the Wind” and more, as well as other rock and roll classics and some special surprises. “I performed with the Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra back in 2011 and it was an amazing crowd, so I’m thrilled to be back,” Cavanaugh said.
Mark Russell Smith, QCSO Conductor and Music Director, will conduct the orchestra during Cavanaugh’s performance. “The Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra begins every season with the Riverfront Pops,” Smith said, “and it’s an exciting and unique tradition that I’ve come to love. We’ve worked with the very talented Michael Cavanaugh before and I know the community will enjoy The Songs of Elton John & More.”
“Our mission is to inspire, engage, and entertain,” said Benjamin Loeb, QCSO Executive Director. “Some people wonder if orchestral music might be too highbrow for them, but they will see that Riverfront Pops is a whole lot of fun. LeClaire Park is a great outdoor venue with a great view of the ballpark, the new Ferris wheel, and the Mississippi River. For some, it might be their first experience in listening to an orchestra. If they like it, we hope they’ll try more of our many QCSO performances.”
“Quad City Bank & Trust deeply believes in strengthening the community in which we work and play,” said Cathie S. Whiteside, Executive Vice President of Corporate Strategy, Human Resources and Branding at Quad City Bank & Trust. “As our Quad City Symphony celebrates its 100th Season, we are particularly mindful of the continuing vital role music education can play for success in school, in life and in our society. Quad City Bank & Trust’s title sponsorship of the Riverfront Pops concert is designed to help ensure that programs such as Instruments for Kids and Youth Orchestra scholarships are maintained and perhaps increased.”
Star Moved Up with Movin’ Out
Singer/pianist Michael Cavanaugh moved up into the ranks of stardom when he performed in Billy Joel’s Broadway musical, Movin’ Out. Cavanaugh appeared in the show for three years and more than 1,200 performances, receiving both Grammy and Tony award nominations in 2003.
Cavanaugh began playing the piano at age 7. He formed his first band at age 10 and was soon performing at local functions. His first full-time gig was with a piano bar called Blazing Pianos in Orlando, Florida. In January 1999, he received an offer to play the New York, New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. One night, Billy Joel caught his act and joined him on stage. Joel was so impressed by the young performer, he asked Cavanaugh to move to New York City and help shape the musical, Movin’ Out.
When Movin’ Out closed at the end of 2005, Cavanaugh created his own show and began touring. Before long, symphony orchestras discovered Cavanaugh’s audience appeal. His first orchestral booking, The Songs of Billy Joel & More, debuted in April 2008 with the Indianapolis Symphony. Later that year, he signed with Warner/ADA to distribute his first CD, In Color. In June 2010, he debuted his second symphony show, The Songs of Elton John & More.
“I love the vibe of an outdoor event venue in the summertime – everyone is ready to have a good time and I feed off that energy,” Cavanaugh said. “The production’s material is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and the caliber of the orchestra is outstanding. Knowing they’re behind you really drives you to pull out all the stops for your best performance.”
For a century, the QCSO has presented masterpieces both old and new at many Quad-Cities venues. The 100th Season will present the premieres of exciting new compositions. Also, the season will end in a one-night-only concert featuring cellist Yo-Yo Ma, a best-selling classical recording artist with more than 75 albums, including 15 Grammy Award-winners. For more information, visit www.qcso.org or call 563-322-7276.
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