Swing States (And Others), a musical tour of the nifty fifty states

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American Classics, under direction of Benjamin Sears and Bradford Conner, continues their popular series of election year concerts with the 2012 installment, Swing States (and the Others), a non-partisan election year tour of the fifty states.  The program will feature songs about states from Broadway and Hollywood, along with some official state songs.  In the non-partisan spirit, songs representing the birth and home states of the four candidates will be highlighted in the program.The musical tour guides are Eric Bronner, Joei Marshall Perry, Caroline Musica, Peter Miller, Cynthia Mork, and Benjamin Sears, with Bradford Conner on piano.  Master of Ceremonies is Peter Carey, and the group will be joined by guitarist Buffie Groves and Barry Low on accordion for the Sunday performance.  Performances are Friday, November 2 at 7:30pm at the Follen Community Church, 755 Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington, Massachusetts and Sunday, November 4 at 3:00pm at the Pickman Concert Hall of the Longy School of Music, 27 Garden Street, Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Tickets are $25 and $20 for students and seniors; to order tickets call 617-254-1125 or online at www.amclass.org.


Songs for the multi-state Mitt Romney are All Hail to Massachusetts by Arthur Marsh, Utah. . . This Is the Place by Sam and Gary Francis, and Irving Berlin’s I Want to Go Back to Michigan; for Paul Ryan is On, Wisconsin by Carl Beck & W.T. Purdy.  Barack Obama is represented by My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii by Bill Cogswell, Tommy Harrison & Johnny Noble, and Joe Biden gets Pennsylvania Polka by Lester Lee & Zeke Manners.


Featured from Broadway are the title song from Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!; Iowa Stubborn from Meredith Willson’s The Music Man; Cactus Time in Arizona from Girl Crazy by George & Ira Gershwin; Ohio from Leonard Bernstein’s Wonderful Town; Rhode Island is Famous for You by Dietz & Schwartz; A Little Girl From Little Rock from Robin & Styne’s Gentlemen Prefer Blonds; and Lizzie Borden (representing both Massachusetts and New York) by Michael Brown.  From Hollywood is a rarity, Let’s Choo Choo Choo to Idaho by Al Rinker & Floyd Huddleston, heard in the film The Duchess of Idaho.


Classic song hits about states include California, Here I Come by Al Jolson, B.G. DeSylva & Joseph Meyer; Georgia on My Mind by Stuart Gorrell & Hoagy Carmichael; Stars Fell on Alabama by Mitchell Parrish & Frank Perkins;Carolina in the Morning by Gus Kahn & Walter Donaldson.Other songs about states include Kentucky Babe by Richard Henry Buck & Adam Geibel; An Old Fashioned Home in New Hampshire by Sam Lewis & Robert King; and Spending Your Vacation in Maine by Al Neiburg & Jerry Levinson; and to ensure every state is acknowledged, Fifty Nifty States by Ray Charles.


American Classics is the Boston area's only organization devoted solely to the performance of American music, giving voice to forgotten gems and newly discovered musical treasures in concerts of vocal and instrumental music. Founded in 1996, American Classics presents concerts of music and song that are both popular and rare along with a wonderfully entertaining guided tour of many musical eras.  This past season American Classics was the only Boston musical organization to salute Fenway Park’s one hundredth birthday with a special program, Fabulous Fenway, and in 2011 they gave the only concert worldwide celebrating the one hundredth anniversary of Irving Berlin’s Alexander’s Ragtime Band in a sold-out concert with Berlin’s eldest daughter in attendance.  Other highlights of past seasons include the first-ever revivals of two Irving Berlin shows, Watch Your Step (1914) and Stop! Look! Listen! (1915), and the first revival of the 1931 revue The Band Wagon by George S. Kaufman, and Howard Dietz & Arthur Schwartz.


For tickets and further information about this show and American Classics call 617-254-1125 or visit www.amclass.org.


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