KSO partners with Classical Kids LIVE! to present Gershwin's Magic Key October 8 at Chenery Auditorium | Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra
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KSO partners with Classical Kids LIVE! to present Gershwin's Magic Key October 8 at Chenery Auditorium


Kalamazoo, MI September 21, 2017 – The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is excited to present the first Family Discovery concert of the season in collaboration with Classical Kids LIVE!.  The KSO’s Family Discover Series concerts feature symphonic performances specially tailored to young children and their families. Tickets are only $5 each!

KSO Resident Conductor and Interim Music Director, Daniel Brier, states “I’ve always loved conducting our Family Discovery concerts. The music and storytelling are so captivating and at $5 per ticket these concerts provide a tremendous value to families.”

Maestro Brier will be conducting the program entitled – Gershwin’s Magic Key. The story tells of a chance meeting on the streets of New York City between a poor newspaper boy (Lance Newton) and the great American composer, George Gershwin (Elic Bramlett). The orchestra magically weaves Gershwin’s greatest hits into the drama as the master composer shares historical anecdotes about his life and musical passion. A bonding friendship develops as they explore the vast melting pot of American music and discover the key to unlocking the boy’s own musical potential. Family and student audiences will be captivated by over twenty of Gershwin’s most popular compositions from classical compositions including Porgy & Bess, American in Paris, Cuban Overture, Concerto in F and Rhapsody in Blue to popular hits from the American Songbook including I Got Rhythm, Swanee, Someone to Watch Over Me, and Fascinating Rhythm.

The Family Discovery activities will kick off at 2pm with the KSO’s popular Instrument Petting Zoo and Meet the Conductor.


Daniel Brier, Resident Conductor/Interim Music Director

Daniel Brier is Resident Conductor and Interim Music Director of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra, an orchestra he joined as Assistant Conductor in 2014. In recent seasons, he has guest conducted the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic, Adrian Symphony, Whiting Park Festival Orchestra, Andrews Symphony Orchestra and has also cover conducted for the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He has also collaborated with a diverse range of artists including Rachel Barton Pine, Bobby McFerrin, and more.

Highlights of Daniel's 2017-18 season include two live movies (Star Wars: A New Hope and A Jungle Book), three performances of The Nutcracker, and his Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Symphonic Series debut featuring Tchaikovsky's “Pathétique" and collaborations with violinist Jennifer Frautschi and Pulitzer Prize winning composer George Walker.

An ardent advocate for contemporary music, Daniel collaborated with the studios of Michael Daugherty and Bright Sheng to premiere works by Peter Shin, Zac Lavender, Jon Boggs, and Nate May. In addition to his support of emerging composers, Daniel has recently conducted works written by contemporary masters including George Walker, Jennifer Higdon, John Adams, Mason Bates, Jessie Montgomery, and more. In 2016, he commissioned and conducted the world premiere of Daniel Capelletti’s The Night Before Christmas, with the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra.

Previously, Daniel was Music Director of the Spectrum Orchestra, Assistant Conductor for the Lexington Philharmonic, and conductor of the University of Michigan Orpheus Singers. In 2010, he was awarded a prize for his “exceptional conducting” during the St. Petersburg Chamber Philharmonic’s International Conducting Competition. Later, in 2012, Daniel received an invitation to study privately with John Nelson at the Orchestre de chambre de Paris. Mr. Brier has conducted in masterclasses with Giancarlo Guerrero, Hugh Wolff, Jorma Panula, Alexander Polishchuk, Victor Yampolsky, Carl Topilow, and Ragnar Bohlin.

Daniel Brier received his musical training at the University of Michigan’s renowned conducting program earning degrees in orchestral conducting with Kenneth Kiesler and choral conducting with Dr. Jerry Blackstone. While at the University of Michigan, he served as an assistant conductor for the world premiere recording of Milhaud’s L’Orestie d'Eschyle conducted by Kenneth Kiesler. Recorded live on Naxos, the album earned a GRAMMY® nomination in 2015. He is a recipient of the Julian and Vera McIntosh scholarship for promising young musicians and conductors, the Dr. Charlene Archibeque scholarship for choral conductors, and the Dorothy Greenwald scholarship.

Updated July 2017. Please disregard all previous materials.

Paul Pement – Creator and Director

Paul serves as Executive & Artistic Director of Classical Kids Music Education, a non-profit arts organization focused on introducing children (and their parents) to the lives and musical masterpieces of the great classical composers. A BFA in theatre from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and professional experience as an actor, singer, dancer, director, choreographer and stage manager have enabled Paul to achieve success with Classical Kids LIVE! programming - the “gold-star” leader in the field for creating theatrical family concerts presented by professional symphony orchestras throughout North America and abroad. Production titles include Beethoven Lives Upstairs, Mozart’s Magnificent Voyage, Vivaldi’s Ring of Mystery, Tchaikovsky Discovers America and the brand new, Gershwin’s Magic Key - the first-ever symphony concert production that introduces new generations to the extraordinary legacy of the great American composer, George Gershwin.

Elic Bramlett – George Gershwin

Elic is excited to be playing George Gershwin in the new Classical Kids LIVE! Production, Gershwin’s Magic Key. After joining Classical Kids during the 2005-06 season he has toured the US, Canada and Malaysia playing Mozart. A native of Phoenix, AZ, Elic now makes his home in the suburbs of Chicago. Stage credits include: The Music Man at Marriott Lincolnshire, Stage Kiss and The Boys are Coming Home at The Goodman; Western Civilization at Noble Fool; Teapot Scandals, Elegies, Sweeney Todd, Macabaret, Hereafter, and Three Sisters at Porchlight; The Musical Comedy Murders of 1940, Charlotte's Web, and Cinderella at Drury Lane; The Bomb-itty of Errors at The Royal George; and Saturday Night with Pegasus Players. In Forever Plaid, he has played the roles of Jinx, Frankie, and Sparky at several theatres including Chicago's original Royal George production. Elic also makes his living as a TV/Film actor, voice over talent, and as a director, producer, and teacher in the Chicagoland area. He would like to dedicate this performance to his loving and supportive wife Carrie Beth, and their beautiful children, Pearle and Theodore.

Lance Newton – “Kid”

Lance feels truly honored to be part of Classical Kids and featured in their newest production, Gershwin's Magic Key. A native of Las Vegas, NV, Lance has been residing in Chicago, IL where he has worked with many theaters including, Steppenwolf Theatre for Young Adults and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre. Some Chicago credits include: Animal Farm (Steppenwolf Theatre); Othello Remix (Chicago Shakespeare Company); Marvin Gaye Story (Black Ensemble Theatre); Southbridge (Chicago Dramatists); Six Stories Tall (Adventure Stage); and Princess and the Pea (Chicago Kids Company). TV credits: NBC's- Chicago Fire and USA's- Sirens. Lance is a proud member of Actor's Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA and received his BFA from Viterbo University in La Crosse WI. He thanks his friends and family for their support and his girlfriend for her faith and loving friendship.


Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra presents Family Discovery Series Concert:

Gershwin’s Magic Key
Sunday, October 8, 2017 – Chenery Auditorium at 3pm (Pre-concert activities begin at 2pm)
Daniel Brier, Conductor
Classical Kids LIVE!: Paul Pement, Creator & Director; Elic Bramlet as George Gerswhin; Lance Newton as “Kid”

The KSO will perform Gershwin’s greatest works as the master composer shares historical anecdotes about his life and musical passion in this story of a poor newspaper boy’s encounter with the great American composer, George Gershwin.  A bonding friendship develops as they explore the vast melting pot of American music and discover the key to unlocking the boy’s own musical potential.

General Admission Tickets: $5
No discounts available.

For tickets, visit www.kalamazoosymphony.com, call the KSO Box Office at (269) 349-7759 or call Miller Auditorium Ticket Office at (269) 387-2300.

Visit www.kalamazoosymphony.com for up-to-date information, details and schedules. Prices, artists, dates, time and program are subject to change without notice.

The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra receives major support from the Irving S. Gilmore Foundation, the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs. The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra also receives generous support from other local, state and national foundations, as well as private and corporate support. For more information, visit www.kalamazoosymphony.com.


Founded in 1921, the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra is Southwest Michigan’s premier musical organization, providing musical enrichment to over 80,000 adults and youth per year. The third-largest professional orchestra in the state, the KSO has won numerous awards and grants, including the Met Life Award for Arts Access in Underserved Communities, the National Endowment for the Arts for its extensive education programs, and a major Ford Foundation grant to found its innovative Artist-in-Residence program.





Tags: chenery auditorium, children, Classical Kids LIVE!, concert, Daniel Brier, Elic Bramlet, Family Discovery, George Gershwin, instrument petting zoo, kids activities, Lance Newton, meet the maestro, Paul Pement