2016-2017 Touring Season
“…delightfully infectious. The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra and its dynamic director have found a winning formula for educating the public in the most enjoyable way….”
SCOTT JOPLIN & THE ORIGINAL KINGS OF RAGTIME
Travel back to the early 1900s as modern life begins: America falls in love with electricity and automobiles, flying machines take to the sky, and vaudeville creates American Idols. Join Rick Benjamin and the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra as they bring to life the thrilling sounds of Scott Joplin – “King of Ragtime Writers” – and his ingenious rivals, as they invent “America’s Original Music.” PRO’s most popular program – critically acclaimed across 48 U.S. states and several countries abroad!
Download the PRO Concert Programs flyer/poster here: PRO Concert Flyer (PDF file).
Watch a video excerpt of this show:
PRO performs the original 1921 score of Eubie Blake’s “I’m Just Wild About Harry,” a selection from the current edition of their Scott Joplin & the Original Kings of Ragtime program.
Read an unsolicited presenter endorsement of this program: “Thank You, PRO”
How the WORLD Got the ‘Blues’
For centuries the Blues was an underground folk music known only in African-American communities of the Deep South. It was not until 1912 that black bandmaster/composer W.C. Handy finally brought the Blues to worldwide fame. He took this soulful sound and transformed it from an obscure regional music into THE dominant American pop style. Playing his seminal, original scores, PRO’s BLUES JUNCTION shows just how Prof. Handy did it, becoming the legendary “FATHER OF THE BLUES.”
LISTEN to PRO play W.C. Handy’s original 1912 “Memphis Blues” score here: “Memphis Blues” original score.
‘ROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE
Touring annually in November and December, ‘ROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE is PRO’s stylish and warm-hearted tribute to America’s Holiday musical traditions. This colorful program features favorite selections from the theaters, ballrooms, grand mansions, and humble hearthsides of the Victorian era. Familiar Christmas songs and carols are heard from their original 19th century scores, along with novelties (including a ragtime version of the Nutcracker Suite!) and sparkling instrumental and vocal soloists. As a finale, the Orchestra accompanies a screening of one of the world’s first Christmas movies – a 1905 Thomas Edison production. ‘ROUND THE CHRISTMAS TREE is a unique event that will delight and cheer your audiences well into the New Year.
YOU’RE A GRAND OLD RAG:
GEORGE M. COHAN’S BROADWAY
For generations, the name GEORGE M. COHAN has conjured the rollicking magic that is Broadway. And this legend is real: as America’s beloved tunesmith and original “Song & Dance Man,” Cohan actually was the father of modern musical theater. This exciting PRO program – starring Colin Pritchard – offers a stirring look at George M’s amazing life and music – “Give My Regards to Broadway,” “H-a-rr-i-gan,” “The Yankee Doodle Boy,” “Over There!,” and all the rest. You’re A Grand Old Rag is a tap-dancing bravura performance that brings audiences to their feet!
SPECIAL EVENTS & CUSTOMIZED PROGRAMS:
The Orchestra also creates customized programs for special events, Centennials, celebrations, and holidays. With over 20,000 historic scores covering every musical style popular from the Civil War era to the Jazz Age, and with acclaimed American music expert (and showman) Rick Benjamin in charge – we have the power and experience to custom-build programs especially for your venue, event, or theme. Your imagination is the only limit! Our client list over 30 years ranges from billion-dollar entertainment conglomerates to major performing arts centers and museums to small not-for-profit groups (and everything in-between). Call us with your ideas for a free consultation: (570) 524-9511, or email [email protected]
EDUCATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR SCHOOLS:
The PRO also offers condensed 50 minute versions of all of the above programs for “Young Audiences” in schools; we have different versions of each designed for specific age levels: Kindergarten-2nd Grade, Grades 3-5, Middle School, and High School students. For information on educational programs, and on how to bring Paragon to your school, please call 570-524-9511, or email [email protected]
Downloadable publicity and press information available here:
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