WILLIAMSPORT — Students of the Uptown Music Collective will present Captain Fantastic and the Piano Man at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 25, at the Community Arts Center, Williamsport.
This performance, which is also the school’s yearly fundraising performance for scholarship and educational programs, is a tribute to two of the titans of rock piano, Sir Elton John, and Billy Joel and will feature performances of as many of their hits as can be packed into a two-plus hour performance.
Both of these legendary artists were chosen for this event last summer, through a multi-tiered community voting process, that concluded with them edging out the community’s runner-up Aerosmith, by a respectable margin.
“People sometimes ask how we get our young student performers excited, and so obviously passionate about performing music that was new when their grandparents were young,” said Dave Brumbaugh, executive director of the collective. “While they can speak for themselves on that, it seems clear to me that as you grow as a musician you discover that great music is great music, and it doesn’t matter the time period it came from, or ultimately the style or genre. Elton John and Billy Joel wrote great songs and infused every particle of their recordings with passion, intensity, and depth of feeling. Music like this is undeniable in its greatness, and everyone one of my performers is totally pumped to bring this great music to the stage.”
Captain Fantastic and The Piano Man will feature collective students who have been preparing for this event for over two months. Along with the live music, there will be a professional grade light and sound show organized by the students themselves. As with all Uptown Music Collective performances, the students are not only the performers but also direct the show. There is also a group of younger students, called “Tech Monkeys” who will serve as stage technicians and spotlight operators. The cast for the show is drawn from the Uptown Music Collective’s much-heralded Special Performance Group 1. The students have set a goal to get over 1500 people to see the show over its two-night run.
This show is directed by Uptown Music Collective Seniors, Ashlyn Bird (Williamsport High) and Sofia Pinsky (Loyalsock Township High), along with a leadership committee that includes UMC students Leah Batman (Lewisburg High), Bailey Rae Briggs, Izzy Brumbaugh (Williamsport), Molly Chapman (Montoursville High), Gabreon Godin (Williamsport), Andrew Head (Montoursville), Cece Lutz, Gavin Paulhamus (Hughesville High), Cade Palmatier (Jersey Shore), Kenni Powell (Jersey Shore), and Maggie Stillman (Williamsport).
“I have always loved both Elton and Billy’s music, said Ashlyn Bird, director. “As a piano student, their expressive songwriting had a deeper impact on me- I used to ask to learn a new song off “The Stranger” every week in my piano lesson. Now, getting to direct this show is fulfilling a long-time dream- it is great to hear all the ideas flowing and the classic songs being recreated. I am so excited to give this performance our all and more, as this show was chosen by the public.”
Tickets for the performance are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Advance tickets are only available through the Community Arts Center. For details about the show visit uptownmusic.org or call 570-329-0888.