Symphony concert features jazzy tribute to Louis Armstrong

December 16, 2008

Soulful ballads and jazzy rhythms will fill the Fox Cities Performing Arts Center on Saturday, Jan. 31 when the Fox Valley Symphony performs its Tribute to Louis Armstrong.

Featuring trumpet player Byron Stripling, the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. and includes works by Manny Albam, William Grimes, Jeff Tyzik and Dennis Mackrel.

Stripling frequently performs as a soloist with the Boston Pops Orchestra and was featured on the PBS television special “Evening at the Pops” with conductors Keith Lockhart and John Williams.

Stripling earned his stripes as lead trumpeter and soloist with the Count Basie Orchestra under the direction of Thad Jones and Frank Foster. He has also played and recorded extensively with the bands of Dizzy Gillespie, Woody Herman, Dave Brubeck, Lionel Hampton, Clark Terry, Louis Bellson and Buck Clayton in addition to The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, The Carnegie Hall Jazz Band and The GRP All-Star Big Band. In addition to his work as a concert soloist, Stripling serves as artistic director and conductor of the highly-acclaimed Columbus Jazz Orchestra.

A pre-concert talk will be held in the Kimberly-Clark Theater with Stripling and FVS music director Brian Groner starting at 6:45 p.m. Refreshments will be available. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the night’s selections and the guest artist. There will also be the opportunity to ask questions.Following the concert, musicians and concert-goers will gather at Fratello’s, 501 W. Water St., Appleton, for a wrap-up party featuring complimentary appetizers courtesy of Fratello’s.

Tickets for the Jan. 31 concert, which is sponsored by Boldt, may be purchased at the PAC ticket office or by calling (920) 730-3760. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is the season underwriter.

Upcoming FVS performances at the P.A.C. include the Kids’ Classics concert on March 24, Lawrence University assistant professor and violin virtuoso Wen-Lei Gu on April 4 and a semi-staged production of Bizet’s opera “Carmen” featuring the White Heron Chorale on May 16.

The Fox Valley Symphony has three-pack subscriptions still available that concert-goers can use for the Jan. 31, April 4 and May 16 concerts. Packages start at just $75 and are available by calling the PAC at (920) 730-3760.

The Fox Valley Symphony’s mission is to enrich and nurture the human spirit through symphonic music and educational opportunities than enhance the cultural development of our community. Thrivent Financial for Lutherans is the 2008-09 season underwriter and Time Warner Cable, DMiNTERACTIVE and WBAY-TV are season media sponsors. The season is also sponsored in part by funds from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and by grants from the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. The FVS sponsors two youth orchestras, the Youth Symphony and Philharmonia Strings, who perform fall and spring concerts. In addition to the season concert series, the orchestra performs an education concert for students enrolled in the Partners in Education program. For more information, please visit the FVS online at

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