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From Buddy Holly to Dr. Seuss, the Jacksonville Symphony Goes Winter Dance Sneetching

| January 20, 2014

Buddy Holly performed by John Mueller, at the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra's Winter Dance Party, Jan. 24-25.

Buddy Holly performed by John Mueller, at the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s Winter Dance Party, Jan. 24-25.

It’s the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra as you’ve never heard it before in two end-of-month concerts, with a tribute to Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper on Jan. 24-25, and Dr. Seuss’s “The Sneetches” on Jan. 26.

The Winter Dance Party concert on Jan. 24-25  presents the biggest hits of Ritchie Valens (“La Bamba”), The Big Bopper (“Chantilly Lace”), and the legendary Buddy Holly (“That’ll Be the Day,” “Words of Love,” “Peggy Sue,” “True Love Ways”) and more.

The song, “Bye Bye, Miss American Pie” is loosely associated with the day that  Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens and the “Big Bopper” died in a plane crash, on February 3, 1959, on their “Winter Dance Party” rock show tour.

When Buddy Holly recorded “True Love Ways,” some considered it to be the first time a rock and roll artist utilized strings in a recording session. In a radio interview, Buddy once said, “I’d prefer to play something a little quieter anyhow.” His tragic death occurred six months later, yet the song is a testament to the direction that Buddy may have been headed with his career.

The songs of Buddy, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper, J.P. Richardson, have been newly arranged and presented with a full orchestra for this performance. This tribute to these rock and roll innovators was founded in 1999 on the 40th anniversary of the original “Winter Dance Party” tour. Over the years, virtually all of the band members and background singers in Buddy’s life have performed in this show.

The concerts are part of the Jacksonville Symphony’s Fidelity National Financial POPS Series, featuring John Mueller, Ray Anthony and Linwood Sasser as guest artists, under the direction of Christopher Confessore. Ticket prices are $25-$72.

Then there’s Sunday’s concert.

Dr. Seuss’ classic “The Sneetches,” a tale about getting along and becoming  friends, comes alive in a brand new symphonic production, with narrator and images projected above the stage. “The Sneetches” also centers on the importance of anti-discriminatory behavior. A variety of great symphonic favorites is also included on the program. The concert is part of the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra’s EverBank Family Series, designed for young families to share the joy of symphonic music. The concert is sponsored by Scott-McRae Group.

The Jacksonville Symphony is performing this symphonic poem “The Sneetches,” which premiered last October at Oberlin Conservatory of Music, a division of Oberlin College. Theodor Geisel’s (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) timeless children’s tale about the perils of bigotry was brought to life in the concert hall by renowned Spanish composer Lorenzo Palomo. The original production of “Dr. Seuss’ The Sneetches” was made possible by the generous support of Dr. Sidney H. Sobel of Rochester, New York, the parent of an Oberlin student, in the hope that it will eradicate bullying and racism in societies everywhere.

“The Sneetches” is narrated by Kevin Roberts and conducted by Christopher Confessore.

On the program:

“The Huntresses” from “Sylvia,” the ballet suite by Delibes.
“Toreadors” from Bizet’s Carmen .
Allegro moderato from Schubert’s Unfinished Symphony (No. 8).
Serenade for Strings, Tchaikovsky.
“Mambo” from the Overture to Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story.”
“The Sneetches,” by Dr. Seuss, Lorenzo Palomo, narration by Kevin Roberts.
Offenbach’s “Can-can” from the Overture to “Orpheus in the Underworld.”

All general admission tickets only $7. Reserved (adult/child: $24/$18 and $18/$15).

Call 904/354.5547 or log on to for more information.

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