Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Join Forces with PNC Pops for 'Sci-Fi Spectacular', 11/14

Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra to Join Forces with PNC Pops for 'Sci-Fi Spectacular', 11/14

PITTSBURGH - Captain's Log, Stardate November 2014. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, conductor Jack Everly and host George Takei take audiences to galaxies far, far away to explore new worlds with lights, music and lots of action during PNC Pops "Sci-Fi Spectacular" at Heinz Hall on November 14-16.

This out-of-this-world concert features the world renowned Everly leading the Pittsburgh Symphony, Mendelssohn Choir of Pittsburgh (directed by Betsy Burleigh) and vocalist Kristen Plumley in music from classic sci-fi TV programs and films, such as "2001: A Space Odyssey," "Star Trek," "E.T.," "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" and more!

"I am always delighted to sense the thrill that concertgoers and Sci-Fi fans feel upon hearing some of their favorite symphonic music played live. This genre of inspired story-telling and great music grabbed an enthralled public when Jules Verne's novels were first published and 'A Trip to the Moon' was a popular silent film in 1902," says Everly. "Great stories and great music will come together onstage and our audiences' enthusiasm will surely be felt in Heinz Hall!"

Audience members should brush up on their sci-fi trivia as Everly will invite one person at each concert on stage to participate in a trivia game with a chance to win a light saber as the prize!

For each of the weekend's performances, Pittsburgh artist, entrepreneur and former NFL running back Baron Batch of Studio A.M. will create a painting inspired by the weekend's sci-fi themes before concert start and during intermission in the Grand Lobby. He will present a finished painting from stage at the end of each show and the paintings will be auctioned online.

Audiences can expect other surprises during this fantastic voyage to the stars. Live long and prosper!

Performances are 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and 2:30 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets, ranging in price from $24.75 to $99.75, can be purchased by calling the Heinz Hall box office at 412-392-4900 or visiting pittsburghsymphony.org. Subscriptions to the 2014-2015 PNC Pops series are still available.

The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra would like to recognize and thank PNC for its 2014-2015 title sponsorship of PNC Pops. Fairmont Pittsburgh is the official hotel of the Pittsburgh Symphony.

Jack Everly is the principal pops conductor of the Indianapolis and Baltimore Symphony Orchestras, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and the National Arts Centre Orchestra (Ottawa). He has conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and appears regularly with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center. In the 2013-14 season, he debuts with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and the Philadelphia Orchestra at The Mann Center. This year, Everly will conduct more than 90 performances in more than 20 North American cities. As music director of the National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth on PBS, Everly proudly leads the National Symphony Orchestra in these patriotic celebrations on the National Mall. Everly is the also music director of Duke Energy Yuletide Celebration, now a 27-year tradition. Originally appointed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, Everly was conductor of the American Ballet Theatre for 14 years, where he served as music director. In addition to his ABT tenure, he teamed with Marvin Hamlisch on Broadway shows that Hamlisch scored. He conducted Carol Channing hundreds of times in "Hello, Dolly!" in two separate Broadway productions. In 1998, Everly created the Symphonic Pops Consortium, serving as music director. The Consortium, based in Indianapolis, produces new theatrical pops programs, including this season's On Broadway with Kander & Ebb. In the past 12 years, more than 250 performances of SPC programs have taken place across the U.S. and Canada. Everly, a graduate of the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Franklin College in his home state of Indiana.

George Takei is an actor, social justice activist, social media mega-power, star of the upcoming Broadway musical "Allegiance," host of the AARP-produced YouTube series "Takei's Take" and subject of "To Be Takei," a documentary on his life and career. With a career spanning five decades, Takei is known around the world for his founding role in the acclaimed television series Star Trek, in which he played Hikaru Sulu, helmsman of the Starship Enterprise. Takei starred in three seasons of Star Trek and later reprised his iconic role in six movies. Mashable.com in 2012 reported Takei is the #1 most-influential person on Facebook, currently with more than 7.3 million likes. Takei has more than 1.2 million followers on Twitter. He authored "Lions and Tigers and Bears: The Internet Strikes Back' and "Oh Myyy! There Goes the Internet," released in e-book and paperback in 2012, and it ranked #10 on the New York Times E-book nonfiction list. Takei and Tony Award winner Lea Salonga are developing "Allegiance-A New American Musical." The musical is an epic story of love, family and heroism during the Japanese American internment. Allegiance's world premiere at the Old Globe theatre in San Diego in 2012 will be followed by a Broadway run. "Free Birds," a computer-animated 3D comedy film, features the voice of Takei along with Owen Wilson and Woody Harrelson and he is featured in the comedy film "Larry Crowne," starring Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts. Takei's on-camera television credits include guest appearances on "Lost Girl," "The Neighbors," "Hawaii Five-0," "The New Normal," "Supah Ninjas," "Malcolm in the Middle," "Scrubs," "Miami Vice," "MacGyver," "The Six Million Dollar Man," "Mission: Impossible," "My Three Sons," "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea" and "The Twilight Zone." He has appeared on "The Big Bang Theory," "Psych," "3rd Rock from the Sun" and "Will & Grace." Takei has brought his voiceover talent to hundreds of characters in film, television, video games and commercials during his prolific career. Takei has provided narration on many projects including the 2009 PBS series "The National Parks: America's Best Idea," the 2006 Peabody Award-winning radio documentary, "Crossing East," centered on the history of Asian American immigration to the United States and "Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home," which garnered Takei a Grammy Award nomination for Best Spoken Word Album. Takei, a Japanese American who from age four to eight was interned in two U.S. internment camps during World War II, is an outspoken supporter of human right issues and community activist. Takei is chairman emeritus and a trustee of the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. The openly gay Takei has served as the spokesperson for the Human Rights Campaign "Coming Out Project," and was cultural affairs chairman of the Japanese American Citizens League. He was appointed to the Japan-U.S. Friendship Commission by former President Clinton and the government of Japan awarded Takei the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold Rays with Rosette, for his contribution to U.S.-Japanese relations. The decoration was conferred by His Majesty, Emperor Akihito, at the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. In 2007, Asteroid 7307 Takei, located between Mars and Jupiter, was named in the performer's honor in appreciation for his social work. Takei lives in Los Angeles with his husband Brad Takei.

A soprano with a sparkling voice to match her personality, Connecticut native Kristen Plumley brings her joy of being on stage to every role she performs. Plumley has portrayed Adina ("L'Elisir d'Amore") and Gilda ("Rigoletto") with Greensboro Opera Company; Norina ("Don Pasquale") and Zerlina ("Don Giovanni") with Virginia Opera; Barbarina ("Le Nozze di Figaro") with New York City Opera; Norina ("Don Pasquale") and Zerlina ("Don Giovanni") with Virginia Opera; Nannetta ("Falstaff") and Amor ("Orfeo ed Euridice") with Opera Festival of New Jersey; Sophie ("Werther") with Chautauqua Opera; Adele ("Die Fledermaus") with Boheme Opera and Opera Theatre of Connecticut; Despina ("Così fan Tutte") with Lyric Opera of Cleveland; the Sultan of Egypt (Glück's "Les Pelerins de la Mecque") with L'Opéra Français de New York; Yum-Yum ("The Mikado") with Opera Memphis and Josephine ("H.M.S. Pinafore") with Nevada Opera. Other roles to her credit include Juliette ("Roméo et Juliette"), Lauretta ("Gianni Schicchi") and Kathy ("Student Prince"), and musical theater favorites Maria ("West Side Story"), Carrie ("Carousel"), Fiona ("Brigadoon") and Laurey ("Oklahoma!"). On the concert stage, Plumley has performed a broad spectrum of works, including Mozart's Coronation Mass and Haydn's Mass in Time of War with the New England Symphonic Ensemble at Carnegie Hall, Mozart's Mass in C minor and Elgar's For the Fallen, Bach's Coffee Cantata, Respighi's Laud to the Nativity and Bach's Cantata #1, "A Yuletide Celebration" (sacred and secular Christmas music) with the Indianapolis, Seattle and Portland symphonies, and "An Evening of Gilbert and Sullivan" with the symphony orchestras of St. Louis, Richmond, Memphis and Minnesota. Enthusiastic about contemporary works, she has been active in many new operas at the prestigious Banff Centre for the Arts (Alberta, Canada) and in companies throughout New York City. Plumley received an Artist Diploma in opera from the Hartt School of Music and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and music from Holy Cross College. Twice a winner in the Connecticut Opera Guild Scholarship Competition, she is also a recipient of the Richard F. Gold Career Grant (Shoshana Foundation).