Lockhart conducts Greenville Symphony in classical music, jazz and a bit of Led Zeppelin


Keith Lockhart’s next Pops concert with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra is nothing if not eclectic.

The September 8 performance at Timmons Arena would start out solidly in the classical realm with Richard Wagner before moving on to the popular film scores of John Williams (of “Star Wars” and “Jurassic Park”) and later branching out into rock tunes by Queen (“Bohemian Rhapsody” ) and Led Zeppelin (“Kashmir”).

“It’s going to be a fun and challenging program too,” Lockhart said, speaking recently by phone from his Cape Cod home.

“We wanted a very broad program to appeal to a broad audience in the Greenville community,” he added.

An event for the whole family, the concert includes free face painting, arts and crafts, and a petting zoo with instruments by Pecknel Music. Concessions will be opened for food, beer and wine.

The performance also includes works by Aaron Copland and jazzy pieces by Leonard Bernstein and Duke Ellington.

The concert is part of the Greenville Symphony’s 75e Birthday party.

In fact, the opening work, the Prelude to Act III of Wagner’s “Lohengrin,” is the first work the Greenville Symphony Orchestra has ever performed live, Lockhart said.

Greenville Connections

Lockhart celebrates 27 years as conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra. Since 2007, he has been artistic director of the Brevard Music Center and has conducted several of the best orchestras in the world.

The traveling bandleader has a long association with Greenville, having earned his Bachelor of Music degree from Furman University. While in town, he will spend time visiting Furman’s students.

When he is on tour with an orchestra, he often returns to Greenville. In recent years he has brought the Boston Pops to town as well as the BBC Concert Orchestra.

For the Sept. 8 concert, Lockhart will conduct the Greenville Symphony Orchestra for the first time, but he actually played bass clarinet in the orchestra from 1978 to 1981 when he was a student at Furman.

Champion Williams

Lockhart is particularly fond of championing the works of his Boston Pops predecessor, film composer John Williams. Orchestras around the world celebrate the 90e Williams’ birthday by highlighting his works.

“He’s still writing,” Lockhart said of Williams, “composing the score for the upcoming ‘Indiana Jones’ movie as we speak. I don’t think there’s a composer who had as much influence on a single genre as John had on cinema.

Like many classical musicians, Lockhart has spent much of the pandemic in musical limbo.

“I went 15 months without seeing an audience,” Lockhart said. “Before that, I don’t think I’ve gone two weeks without seeing an audience, so the pandemic has been tough. But we’re thrilled to be back performing.

If you are going to

What: “A Night of Pop with BSG, Conducted by Keith Lockhart”

When: 7:30 p.m. September 8

Where : Timmons Arena at Furman University

Tickets: $15 to $50

Information: 864-294-3099 or greenvillesymphony.org


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