Northwest NEWS

April 22, 2002


Gershwin played with tuxedo and bright red socks

by Julie Unruh
   Associate Publisher
   My husband and I couldn't decide how to celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary, but the more we thought about it, the more we wanted to do something out of the ordinary.
   We have a 17-month-old son and don't get out alone much, so once my mom happily agreed to watch our son overnight, we began the search for a fun night out.
   We looked through various media trying to find comedy shows or concerts that interested us. We stumbled upon an ad for the Everett Symphony's "A Celebration of Gershwin."
   The performance was held April 12 at the Everett Civic Auditorium, located across the street from Everett High School on Colby Avenue. We arrived at 7:45 p.m. to find our seats - center balcony! We had a perfect view of the stage and all the symphony members.
   The orchestra began tuning their instruments, and at 8:00 the lead violinist/associate concertmaster, Patrice Weed Shearer was greeted with applause when emerged from backstage and began the official tuning of the instruments. Once the tuning was finished, she sat with the rest of the members of the orchestra.
   The curtain opened again, the crowd applauded even louder and the conductor now made his way to center stage. I chuckled as I realized he was wearing bright red socks with his black and white tuxedo. It was then I knew the show would be more entertaining than I had first thought.
   Dr. Paul-Elliot Cobbs, music director/conductor, has been with the Everett Symphony for 18 years.
   According to the Symphony web-site, "He is a world-renowned maestro who amazes and mesmerizes thousands of symphony-goers with his down-to-earth personality and his talent for leading musicians through the widest range of music." We found this to be quite true.
   The orchestra played a number of George and Ira Gershwin's compositions. The music, which includes songs such as "An American in Paris," "Embraceable You," "I Got Rhythm" and "Slap That Bass," is very up-beat and entertaining.
   Various songs were performed by special guest vocalist, Spider Saloff, who has performed in locations all over the world and is a five-time winner of the prestigious MAC (Manhattan Association of Cabarets) awards.
   According to the New York Times and the Everett Symphony, Saloff has "A wicked way with a lyric and a glint of self-controlled mischief. A sparkle that lights up the performance."
   Saloff's humor was especially evident as she made such comments as, "I know this is the Northwest, but don't confuse bass, (the fish), with bass, (the instrument), in "Slap That Bass."
   The combination of humor and musical talent by the entire symphony and Saloff earned the performance a five-star rating. My husband and I were very pleased and plan to attend future concerts. We recommend everyone attend a concert at the Everett Symphony!
   Special Note: April 12th's concert was dedicated to Ethel M. Cays, concertmaster of the Everett Symphony. She passed away March 17 after a long battle with cancer. A scholarship fund has been set up in her name. Please contact the Symphony for more information.
   Everett Symphony, 1507 Wall Street, Everett, WA 98201-4007; Phone (425) 257-8382; Fax (425) 257-8383
   Tickets orders: Email: TicketOffice@everettsymphony.
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