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Space Coast Symphony Orchestra

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Bright Lights of Broadway

Strike up the orchestra.  Jerome Kern, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Stephen Sondheim and Andrew Lloyd Webber. Broadway's greatest composers are coming to the region as the Space Coast Symphony Orchestra (SCSO) salutes their biggest shows at The Scott Center for Performing Arts on June 18 and at the Community Church of Vero Beach the following afternoon.

Led by conductor Aaron T. Collins, the SCSO kicks off its 2016-17 season with a powerful performance of Broadway's storied past and recent blockbusters.  The show features show tunes from "South Pacific," "Flower Drum Song," "Phantom of the Opera," "Showboat," "Mamma Mia," "Fiddler on the Roof," "Grease," "Wicked," "Chicago," "Jesus Christ Superstar" and more.

"These are the names of the musical giants who wrote some of the biggest shows in Broadway history," Collins says.  "We'll be performing a medley of 11 or 12 songs.  It's a nice break from our larger, much more involved subscription programs.  For the musicians it's a different approach and style.  It's a fun evening, especially for me conducting."

What make these composers so popular?

"First, most of the audience knows all the songs so they resonate very well," Collins explains.  "The music is very accessible and melodic with a very high energy level.   We'll have music from the early 20th century with Jerome Kern and "Showboat" into more recent times with Stephen Schwartz and "Wicked."  So the audience will get a nice swath of musicals spanning 100 years."

Maestro Collins, 33, is quickly gaining notoriety through his tireless personal involvement with more than a dozen performing arts groups in Central Florida to culturally enrich the community.  This year Collins won the Richard A. Stark Award from the Cultural Council of Indian River County.  The award is given annually to an individual who demonstrates exceptional leadership in promoting the cultural arts, and in providing encouragement, involvement, and motivation to others.

"It's a great honor, especially when you consider the past recipients," Collins notes.  "The orchestra probably performs 30 times a year in Vero Beach so we do feel that we're part of the community.  We have about 200 hard workers in the musicians and all our volunteers.  They make me look good.  I got to share the honor with all of the orchestra players so that's very cool."

A native of Cocoa Beach, Collins is recognized for his collaborative efforts in the arts community, giving voice to new musical compositions, mentoring youth musicians, and the design and implementation of "Symphony for Everyone," a program which provides substantially discounted or free admission to any concert.

"I think there is a wonderful cross-pollination between the Space Coast and the Treasure Coast," he says.  "We provide mentoring and performance opportunities for Florida's finest young musicians as well as to provide professional concerts at genuinely affordable prices.  We'll be bringing new education programs as well next year.  The ultimate goal of the organization is to help ensure the symphonic tradition for the enjoyment of future generations."

The Scott Center for Performing Arts is located at 5625 Holy Trinity Drive in Melbourne.  The Community Church of Vero Beach is located at 1901 23rd Street in Vero Beach.  For more information, visit http://www.spacecoastsyphony.org

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