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Pittsburgh Symphony Pops' tributes to include Beatles, 'Oz,' disco

| Monday, March 12, 2012

Four of the seven program of the 2012-13 PNC Pops season will be led by Marvin Hamlisch in his 18th season as principal Pops conductor. He recently signed a contract extension through the 2014-15 season.

The season opens with Hamlisch on the podium for concerts Sept 27 through 30 featuring Katharine McPhee, star of the NBC television series "Smash" and a finalist in the 2006 "American Idol." Her program will include "Under My Skin," by Cole Porter, "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" from "The Wizard of Oz" and "Somewhere" from "West Side Story."

The Pops will pay tribute to the Beatles Nov. 15 through 18, when Classical Mystery Tour will return to Heinz Hall. The concert honoring the 45th anniversary of "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band," the first rock album to win a Grammy, will be conducted by the orchestra's new assistant conductor, Fawzi Haimor.

Hamlisch will conduct the six performances of Highmark Holiday Pops, Dec. 20 through 23. The concerts will feature Rachel DeShon, winner of Hamlisch's Search for a Star competition, singing Allegheny County Sheriff's detective Ricky Manning and the Mendelssohn Choir. Hamlisch will premiere a new song he's written that was inspired by a children's book he's bringing out in the fall.

Hamlisch also will lead a new program he's created for Valentine's Day. The concerts, Feb. 7 through 10, will feature the All-Star College Chorus and two vocal soloists performing "I Could Have Danced All Night" from "My Fair Lady," the theme from "Ice Castles" and other music of love.

The Pops orchestra will perform the score of the beloved film "The Wizard of Oz" while it is screened at concerts March 14 through 17, 2013.

Discos Days and Boogie Nights, May 2 to 5, 2013, will offer guest conductor Jack Everly's evocation of music of the '70s, featuring music by the Bee Gees, the Village People, the Carpenters and Billy Joel.

Jazz trumpeter Chris Botti returns to the Pops to conclude the season, June 13 through 16, 2013, with Hamlisch conducting. Botti, whose albums have crossover appeal to pops fans, has performed with Sting, Paul Simon, Michael Buble, Joni Mitchell and Andrea Bocelli.

Subscriptions, $117.25 to $652.75, are on sale now. Single tickets will go on sale at a later date.

Details: 412-392-4900 or www.pittsburghsymphony.org .

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