The Super Bowl is now a memory, and NASCAR doesn't start until next week, so even die-hard sports fans can turn out for the Richey Community Orchestra's "Shades of Blue" concert with its lineup of tunes that should appeal to almost everyone (well, maybe not devotees of rap or heavy metal).
All the songs on the program have a touch of blue — St. Louis Blues, Blue Tango, Blue Danube Waltz — but what many may consider the highlight is when pianist Bobby Pace takes the stage to perform George Gershwin's beloved Rhapsody in Blue.
Or perhaps when trumpet virtuoso Charly Raymond plays Sugar Blues, Birth of the Blues, Blueberry Hill and the Harry James classic, Trumpet Blues and Cantabile — "cantabile" often meaning a type of music made to sound like the human voice.
In addition, conductors Derek Weston and Robert Boyd will lead the 50-member orchestra in Johann Strauss' Blue Danube Waltz, Leroy Anderson's Blue Tango, Richard Rodgers' Blue Moon and many others.
Raymond has performed many times with RCO and in many night clubs, dinner theaters and top 40 show bands across the United States and on cruise ships around the world. He has accompanied entertainers such as the late Eddie Fisher and Connie Haines, as well as Bobby Rydell, Little Anthony, the Four Lads, Joanne Castle and Charo, among others.
Raymond uses arrangements made famous by Tommy Dorsey, Harry James, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, Count Basie and other big bands of the 1940s.
Pace is a summa cum laude graduate of the Pinellas County Center for the Arts at Gibbs High School and Stetson University, and is in graduate school at Florida State University, majoring in piano accompaniment and music theory.
He received the William E. Duckwitz and Tinsley Talent scholarships at Stetson and won first prize in the Wednesday Music Club of Central Florida's scholarship competition for pianists. He was chosen to perform at the Schlern International Music Festival in Vols am Schlern, Italy, and completed two multicity tours of the United States with the Stetson concert choir.
Pace is a member of the Xi Nu chapter of Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia and was its president for the year 2009.
Richey Community Orchestra is Pasco County's only symphony orchestra. It has a membership of both professional and amateur musicians.