CarmelFest 2015: Carmel Symphony Orchestra to hold Sinatra tribute


Editor’s note: You can read more about CarmelFest 2015 here.

By Mark Ambrogi

Carmel Symphony Orchestra artistic director David Bowden has a full 90-minute program planned for CarmelFest.

CSO is scheduled to start at 8:30 p.m. on July 4and will play up until the fireworks begin at 9:45 p.m. In between, there is a lot of variety.

“I try to do a full dinner,” Bowden said. “I don’t have everything be appetizers.”

So in addition to patriotic songs, a tribute to Frank Sinatra, an alto saxophonist, there will be a medley from “The Sound of Music” to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the movie.

“I wanted to focus on something everyone loves,” Bowden said. “Everyone loves ‘The Sound of Music.’”

The CSO’s tribute to Sinatra recognizes it is his 100th birthday year (Dec. 15, 1915). Sinatra died in 1998.

“We are going to be doing a birthday party for Frank,” Bowden said. “We are doing a lot of his songs that are very up-tempo.”

Rick Vale will be the vocalist accompanying the orchestra.

“Rick is a terrific singer,” Bowden said. “He imitates Frank as far as his artistry. But he doesn’t try to make it sound like Frank. He tries to set up like a great artist doing it and at times like Frank Sinatra would sound.”

Some of the songs will be “My Way,” “Fly Me to the Moon” and “New York, New York.” There will also be a “Salute to Ol’ Blue Eyes” by the orchestra only.

Bowden estimates there will be about 10 Sinatra songs.

“If the speakers go a little longer or shorter, I have to adapt,” Bowden said. “In the last several years, I’ve been able to end within eight seconds of that.”

Bowden said the CSO will adapt and add instruments to give it more of a big band sound.

“This provides the opportunity to sound like the band Frank Sinatra would have had, only better because it’s the full orchestra and it’s a much richer sound,” Bowden said.

Alto saxophonist virtuoso Sophie Faught will perform “St. Louis Blues” and “Sweet Georgia Brown.”

“Those are two pieces made for her soloing,” Bowden said. “She’ll bring the house down.”

“The Stars & Stripes Forever” will be played right before the fireworks begin. Bowden said the fireworks have to start on a cue because the radio broadcast is associated with it.

“We work very hard to make that work,” said Bowden, who has been the CSO artistic director since 1999. “The primary thing is timing during the course of the program.”


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