WILSON, N.C. — December 19, 2017 — Celebrate Valentine’s Day in gala fashion with the Barton College/Wilson Symphony Orchestra on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at the twenty-seventh annual “Love the Symphony.” This year’s Mardi Gras themed concert will feature vocalist Melvin Tunstall III.
The event will begin with a wine and cheese reception at 6:30 p.m., followed by the concert at 7 p.m. in Wilson Gymnasium on the Barton campus. A candlelight buffet dinner will immediately follow the program at 8 p.m. Tickets are $65 per person, and reservations may be made by calling Luann Clark at 252-399-6329. Please note that tables for eight are available by reservation. The reservation deadline is Wednesday, Feb. 7. No tickets will be mailed.
Melvin will perform songs from a variety of Broadway shows, including selections from “Pippin,” “Company,” “Babes in Arms,” “Porgy and Bess,” and “The Wiz.” “It is something truly special to feature Melvin again in one of our concerts,” said symphony director Mark Peterson. “He performed for us once, 10 years ago, before he broke-through on Broadway, and, since then, it’s been hard to find an available date for his return.”
Tunstall is currently appearing on Broadway as a Tony, Grammy, and ACCA Award winning original cast member of “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” at the Sondheim Theater. This follows his performance in the European tour of the hit musical “Ain’t Misbehavin!,” which played many of the world’s most renowned stages, including the legendary “Folies Bergère” in Paris, France. Prior to joining the company, Tunstall originated the role of “Ja’Keith” in the Original Toronto Company of the Broadway smash “Rock of Ages.” He has been seen in productions of “Jesus Christ Superstar,” “Sweet Charity,” “Babes In Arms,” and “Violet,” for which he was cited as one of “The Best in the Triangle” for his portrayal of Flick.
A graduate of the acclaimed musical theater program at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, Tunstall also is a published playwright. He began his writing career at the 20 Century Theater of Cincinnati with the original revues “By George! The Music of George Gershwin” and “You’re the Top! The Music of Cole Porter.” He also choreographed and starred in the one-night-only performance of “Godspell” at the Cincinnati Convention Center, a performance seen by an audience of over 3,000 that Tunstall still recognizes as a highlight in his career.
Currently residing in New York, Tunstall wrote the libretto for the TYA phenomenon “Polkadots: The Cool Kids Musical” and “Pete(HER)Pan,” a new retelling of the JM Barrie classic. His original musical “BLooM! The Musical,” which was developed with Barton College’s Mark Peterson, was a semi-finalist in the 2014 NAMT Festival and continues to be developed in New York City.
Tunstall also recently starred in the developmental workshop of the new musical “Lost In Love” featuring the music of 80’s rock group Air Supply, and was part of the Yale Institute for Musical Theater’s production of “The Last Queen of Canaan.” His newest project, “Senior Class: A New Pygmalion,” will have its first NYC Workshop in 2018.
The “Love the Symphony” program, under the direction of Peterson, will include the concert medley “A Flavor of New Orleans,” Ferde Grofé’s “Mardi Gras,” “Satchmo!” (A Tribute to Louis Armstrong), and other light classical favorites.
As this distinguished event’s popularity continues to grow with an ever-increasing number of guest reservations each year, Wilson Gymnasium on the Barton campus provides a spacious and elegantly transformed environment to provide the perfect backdrop for sweethearts and friends to enjoy time-honored classics performed by the orchestra.
“Love the Symphony” is sponsored by BB&T WEALTH.