When was the last time you went to the symphony to hear an electric guitar riffing over the orchestra? Or a conductor introducing a musical number in a tunefully improvised a capella (when he isn't making jokes with his vocalists?) Or a sax-playing tenor and a bass doo-wopping away as two gorgeous sopranos improvise their line to the clapped rhythm provided by the audience?

All of the above happened during the performance of Marvin Hamlisch and the New York Voices at the San Diego Symphony. It was only fitting that a swaying young audience turned up (apparently from a high school music class) and were quite themselves swayed by the engaging mix between jazz and classical music.

The San Diego Symphony put the audience in a dancing mood in the first half, while many soloists -- Theresa Tunnicliff on Eb clarinet, Nick Grant on violin, Valentin Martchev on bassoon -- got to display their chops in brief, impressive solos. The New York Voices took over the second half with their own versions of well-known songs. And the audience was then sent home with a pleasing encore of Lennon and McCartney's “In My Life.”

  • Concert: Marvin Hamlisch and the New York Voices
  • Date: April 9
  • Venue: Copley Symphony Hall
  • Seats: X31 (main level)

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