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The Cleveland POPS Orchestra with the NASA Glenn Research Center Present A TRIBUTE TO NASA- TO REACH THE UNREACHABLE STARS, 4/25

The Cleveland POPS Orchestra with the NASA Glenn Research Center Present A TRIBUTE TO NASA- TO REACH THE UNREACHABLE STARS, 4/25

The Cleveland POPS Orchestra with conductor Carl Topilow and Cleveland-based NASA Glenn Research Center are collaborating in a music and video celebration of the remarkable spirit of exploration and discovery of the men and women of NASA. The concert titled "A Tribute to NASA" and subtitled "To Reach the Unreachable Stars," will be performed at Severance Hall at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, April 25, 2014.

Cleveland POPS is supplying the music, while NASA is orchestrating the screen footage to accompany many of the musical selections. Joining the orchestra will be the highly acclaimed Cleveland POPS Chorus under the direction of William Zurkey. Members of Contemporary Youth Orchestra, directed by Liza Grossman, will play side-by-side with Cleveland POPS on several of the evening's selections.

The concert program will include a wide range of music styles, from the "Jetsons," "Wicked," and "Star Wars" to music from "Apollo 13", "Mars" from "The Planets" by Gustav Holst, and the extraordinary "Voyage into Space" originally composed for John Glenn by Peter Nero. The 18-minute piece will be narrated by former Astronaut Donald A. Thomas, a veteran of four space shuttle flights. Thomas is a Cleveland native and a graduate of Cleveland Heights High School. Astronaut Michael J. Foreman, whose hometown is Wadsworth, Ohio, will introduce "Across the Stars" and "The Blue Danube," enhanced for the audience with eye-popping NASA footage of space exploration. Astronaut Foreman flew two space shuttle missions, during which he performed five spacewalks to help construct the International Space Station.

Vocalists Lindsey Mitchell and Connor O'Brien will round out the cadre of musical talent, performing songs from Broadway musicals related to the theme of the concert, such as "Defying Gravity," "The Impossible Dream," and "Stars" from LES MISERABLES.

James M. Free, director of NASA John H. Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, will provide welcoming remarks during the second half of the program and share with the audience his insight to some of the imagery experienced during the concert. He also will comment on the inspirational NASA displays arranged in the lobby spaces of Severance Hall. The displays will illumine the groundbreaking work of NASA Glenn Research Center in space research and technology.

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