NEWSFLASH! –

June 2022 –

RECENT PRO ALBUM GAINS ASIA MARKET

June 23: Our recent surge of happy fan email from Asia has now been explained! Our most recent album has gone on sale there. ありがとう!/ 감사합니다! / 谢谢你!

 


June 2022 –

PRO ON THE AIR IN NEW YORK CITY

June 19: Our old friends at WQXR CLASSICAL RADIO featured the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra FIVE times  for their “Juneteenth” broadcast day: WILL MARION COOK’S “In Dahomey Overture,” EUBIE BLAKE’S “Shuffle Along Overture,” Q. ROSCOE SNOWDON’S “Slow Drag Blues,” CLARENCE WILLIAM’S “Royal Garden Blues,” and J. TIM BRYM’S “Valse Angelique.” WQXR’s support of our work goes all the way back to 1988, when the station first produced what became a series of live PRO simulcast concerts from around New York. And since that time they’ve been regular broadcasters of our recordings. Thanks, WQXR!

 


April 2022 –

PRO AWARDED NATIONAL ENDOWMENT GRANT

April 23: The National Endowment for the Arts (NEA.gov) has once again re-authorized PRO’s annual performance touring grant – Paragon LIVE in Historic American Theaters. Click here to see how your presenting organization could access these funds to produce a concert or film show: https://paragonragtime.com/programs-and-bookings/paragon-live-in-historic-american-theaters.

 


March 2022 –

PRO’S DIRECTOR PRAISED BY ‘THE NEW YORK TIMES’

March 29: We’re always happy to see a Scott Joplin article in The New York Times, and even happier when it gives live links to our recordings and calls our conductor’s contributions to Joplin’s legacy “magisterial.” Click on the link to read a PDF of the article: “Scott Joplin’s Ragtime Is Ambrosia: Here’s Why It Matters” by John McWhorter.

 


March 2016 –

THE HARTFORD COURANT FEATURES OUR DIRECTOR

March 22: Today the Hartford Courant – America’s oldest newspaper – published this lovely feature article about Rick Benjamin’s lecture appearance in Canterbury, Connecticut. You can read the piece here: “Ragtime Expert Rick Benjamin Enchants Historical Society Members.”

 

 

 


 

February 2016 –

PARAGON RAGTIME ORCHESTRA CELEBRATES 30th ANNIVERSARY

February 10: 30 years ago today Rick Benjamin conducted the first rehearsal of a new student group he was organizing at The Juilliard School: “The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra.” We’re delighted to say that the journey has been amazing! And now we look forward to our Anniversary Season and the many more adventures to come.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

February 2016 –

BROADWAY TRADE NAMES NEW PRO RECORDING A TOP TEN VOCAL ALBUM OF THE YEAR

It’s good to see that our new Irving Berlin CD has just been selected as one of the “Top Ten Vocal Albums of 2015” by TALKIN’ BROADWAYhttp://www.talkinbroadway.com/page/sound/january2916.html. We’re in pretty good company there too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

December 2015 –

NEW ALBUM PRAISED BY TALKIN’ BROADWAY
IRVING BERLIN: THIS IS THE LIFE!

The review of our brand new album has just appeared in TALKIN’ BROADWAY. Here’s the opener: “Response to the singing and instrumental work on New World Record’s new CD could reach a new world’s record of cheers from music fans….” And then it gets better. Read Brad Hathaway’s whole review here: http://paragonragtime.com/wp-content/uploads/PRO-Berlin-review-Talkin-Broadway-December-2015.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

December 2015 –

PARAGON’s 17th ALBUM RELEASED –
IRVING BERLIN: THIS IS THE LIFE!

Ranging from his explosive 1909 arrival as “The Ragtime King” into the dawn of the Jazz Age, this album highlights legendary American songwriter Irving Berlin’s music for vaudeville, revue, and the Broadway stage. Of particular interest are rediscovered scores from Berlin’s first musical – the legendary Watch Your Step (1914). The selections are performed from rare historic orchestrations prepared by Irving Berlin’s own staff of arrangers and orchestrators. The recording is accompanied by a 50-page illustrated booklet giving insight into overlooked aspects of Berlin’s career, including his curious working methods, as well as his brilliant successes as the publisher of his own creations and proprietor of a true, pioneering “entertainment empire.”

Click here: IRVING BERLIN: THIS IS THE LIFE! for sound clips and more information.

PRO - Irving Berlin CD cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


October 2015 –

“THE MAGICAL, MUSICAL TIME MACHINE”

It’s official: We are “The magical, musical time machine.” The LaCrosse Tribune says so! See the fun feature article here: http://paragonragtime.com/wp-content/uploads/PRO-LaCrosse-Tribune-10-15-15.pdf


September 2015 –

PRO FEATURED ALL WEEK ON GERMAN RADIO –

Tracks from the Orchestra’s Minding the Score album will be featured every afternoon of the week beginning September 16 over the Bayerischer Rundfunk network on the BR-KLASSIK Mittagsmusik – Thema der Woche program. The host for these shows is Xaver Frühbeis. You can listen online here: http://www.br.de/…/mittagsmus…/thema-harry-l-alford-100.html.

Bayerischer Rundfunk BR-KLASSIK

BR-Klassik logo

 

 

 

 

 


 

April 2015 –

PRO RECEIVES NATIONAL ENDOWMENT GRANT –

The Orchestra is delighted to announce that it has been chosen to receive a 2015 National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) grant for its new touring program Paragon LIVE in Historic American Theaters. This program, designed by Rick Benjamin, will feature performances of works by American composers from the late 19th and early 20th century presented in pre-1930s historic theaters across the United States.

The National Endowment for the Arts

NEA logo small

 

 

 

 

 


 

December 2014 –

NEW PARAGON RECORDING RELEASED –
THE PIONEERS OF MOVIE MUSIC:
SOUNDS OF THE AMERICAN SILENT CINEMA

Our sixteenth album!  This one shines the spotlight on a seldom heard topic – the birth of movie music. Return to the 1910s and early ’20s to listen as seventeen gifted pioneers develop the art of the “film score.” The album features 74 minutes of rare and delightful music – all played from the original orchestrations – along with a 52-page booklet highlighting the musical evolution of this glamorous era of the cinema. It’s a lost world of sound and a “must” for all classic movie fans and soundtrack buffs!

Click here: PIONEERS OF MOVIE MUSIC for sound clips and more information.

PRO - Pioneers of Movie Music CD cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

September 2014 –

WATCH OUR NEW VIDEO,
“MEET THE PARAGON RAGTIME ORCHESTRA”

Narrated by Rick Benjamin, and produced by Arbour Media.

PRO logo (dark)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

December 2013 –

A NEW PARAGON RECORDING RELEASED –
MINDING THE SCORE:
THE AMAZING HARRY L. ALFORD

PRO’s fifteenth album tributes a true American musical genius – Harry L. Alford (1875-1939). Alford was not only a famous composer (especially of marches), but also a pioneer arranger/orchestrator of unsurpassed brilliance. Harry Alford’s 30,000 (!) scores for band and orchestra were the state of the art in the early the 20th century and formed a basic repertoire heard and enjoyed by millions.

Click here: MINDING THE SCORE: THE MUSIC OF HARRY L. ALFORD for sound clips and more information.


 

A NEW PARAGON RECORDING RELEASED –
BLACK MANHATTAN VOL. 2

PRO’s fourteenth album is the second volume of its tribute to the great African-American composers of late 19th and early 20th century New York City. Again inspired by James Weldon Johnson’s famous book Black Manhattan, this new PRO recording brings to life more of the amazing sounds that profoundly influenced the course of American music.

Click here: Black Manhattan Vol. 2 for sound clips and more information.


 

“GRAMOPHONE” MAGAZINE
EDITOR’S CHOICE –

The world’s most prestigious classical music magazine – GRAMOPHONE – has given our new Treemonisha recording its prized “Editor’s Choice” award. In an astounding rave review, critic Philip Clark declared, “This is the most important document about the history of American composed music to have appeared in a long, long time.” Read the entire article here: PRO Gramophone Review.


 

“BBC MUSIC”
OPERA RECORDING OF THE MONTH PICK –

The world’s largest classical music magazine – BBC MUSIC – has just declared our new Treemonisha their “Opera Recording of the Month.” This is a fantastic honor! Read the entire article here: An Entertainer from Joplin by critic Geoff Brown.


 

“WALL STREET JOURNAL” FEATURE ARTICLE –

Our new recording of Treemonisha is already garnering high accolades. The distinguished critic Barrymore Laurence Scherer calls it “Treemonisha as It Was Intended to Be” in his recent review for the Wall Street Journal. Read the entire article here: “Treemonisha as It Was Intended to Be.”


 

PRO IN THE “NEW YORKER” MAGAZINE –

Another major Treemonisha review! We’re very happy to see the NEW YORKER magazine has picked our recording as one of the top classical releases of the year: “Eleven for 2011” by Russell Platt.


 

PRO’s New Recording of Treemonisha
is Now Available:

 

PRO’s long-awaited (and requested) recording of Scott Joplin’s opera is now available. Click here for further information: Treemonisha Recording and Book.


 

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