BWW Interview: Monica Mancini Talks About a Tribute to Her Dad at the Soraya

On Saturday October 13 there will be a special tribute concert to the music of Henry Mancini at the Soraya at Cal State Northridge. Monica Mancini, the icon's daughter, took time from her busy schedule to tell us about the event.

What is the reason for the tribute at this particular point in time?

BWW Interview: Monica Mancini Talks About a Tribute to Her Dad at the SorayaIN OUR FAMILY, THERE'S ALWAYS A REASON TO CELEBRATE DAD'S MUSIC! OTHER THAN THE ICONIC PINK PANTHER THEME BEING 55 YEARS OLD, HIS MUSIC IS TIMELESS AND CONNECTS WITH GENERATIONS OF MUSIC LOVERS

Give us a sneak peek by talking a little about the program and your special guest.

WE WILL BE PERFORMING ALL OF DAD'S WELL KNOWN SONGS LIKE "DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES", "MOON RIVER", ALONG WITH INSTRUMENTAL THEMES FROM THE THORNBIRDS AND VICTOR VICTORIA...

IF ANYONE HAD THE EXTRAORDINARY EXPERIENCE OF SEEING HAMILTON IN SAN FRANCISCO OR LA, YOU SAW THE AWESOME PERFORMANCE OF Joshua Henry PORTRAYING AARON BURR. HE LITERALLY STOPPED THE SHOW WITH HIS OPENING LINE! I'M EXPECTING THAT HIS CHARISMA AND PIPES WILL BRING A FRESH ENERGY TO SOME OF DAD'S CLASSICS THAT HE WILL BE SINGING. NOT TO MENTION THE THRILL FOR ME TO DO A DUET OR TWO...

What was it like growing up the daughter of Henry Mancini? Did he encourage you to make music your future career?

THANKFULLY, DAD DIDN'T HIT HIS STRIDE MUSICALLY UNTIL WE WERE A BIT OLDER, SO WE GREW UP IN A REAL NEIGHBORHOOD, PLAYING KICK THE CAN WITH REAL NEIGHBORHOOD KIDS AND DIDN'T HAVE THE "STIGMA" THAT'S OFTEN ASSOCIATED WITH GROWING UP WITH PRIVILEGE. THE THREE OF US KIDS HAD THE PERFUNCTORY PIANO LESSONS THAT MOST MUSICIANS' CHILDREN HAD BUT AS FAR AS ANY ENCOURAGEMENT AS A MUSICAL PATH, HE LEFT THAT TO US. I THINK THE DNA PRETTY MUCH DECIDED THAT FOR US, AS WE ALL ENDED UP WITH MUSIC AS CAREERS.

AS FAR AS I REMEMBER, THE ONLY ADVANTAGE HAVING A FAMOUS FATHER WAS THE POSSIBILITY OF MEETING THE BEATLES!

Give a specific incident, humorous if possible, that shows his dedication to and love for his compositions, like any fun Pink Panther story?

THE ONLY PINK PANTHER STORIES I KNOW ARE FAIRLY X-RATED, GIVEN THAT PETER SELLERS WAS INVOLVED. I CAN SAY THAT TO HEAR |"THE PINK PANTHER THEME" IS TO KNOW Henry Mancini. HIS WIT, HIS INTELLIGENCE AND HIS HEART ARE ON FULL DISPLAY, WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH THE CASE IN EVERY PIECE OF MUSIC HE WROTE

What was his personal favorite composition? Yours?

DAD'S FAVORITE COMPOSITION WAS "TWO FOR THE ROAD". I DON'T KNOW WHY HE CONNECTED SO WITH THIS MELODY...SHOULD HAVE ASKED HIM! IT VERY MUCH SPEAKS TO THE RELATIONSHIP HE HAD WITH MY MOM, AND IT BECAME "THEIR SONG" FOR LIFE~

I ALWAYS LOVED "THE DAYS OF WINE AND ROSES" BUT FUNNILY ENOUGH, I PREFER TO SING "TWO FOR THE ROAD".

BWW Interview: Monica Mancini Talks About a Tribute to Her Dad at the Soraya

Anything else you care to add?

THE LOCATION OF THIS CONCERT HAS SPECIAL MEANING AS WE GREW UP RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER FROM THE COLLEGE...YOU KNOW, WHERE WE WERE KICKING THE CAN AND WHERE DAD WROTE "MOON RIVER"

On Saturday, October 13 at 8pm, Mancini's music comes home to Northridge as The Soraya presents Moon River and the Music of Henry Mancini. Starring Monica Mancini with special guest three-time Tony nominated Joshua Henry, Moon River and the Music of Henry Mancini features Gregg Field as Music Director and Chris Walden conducting the New West Symphony.

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