New Mexico Orchestra Plays Music Of Baby Boomers

The New Mexico Symphony Orchestra's Pops season opens with music that was a soundtrack for a generation: hits by the Beatles, the Mamas and the Papas, Simon and Garfunkel, and many more, performed by the vocal group New York Voices and the NMSO in a program called "Music of the Baby Boomers."

Two performances will take place at Popejoy Hall on the University of New Mexico campus, Sept. 27 and 28. Chris Walden will conduct both performances. The program begins a Pops season with a significant new addition: a four-concert Pops matinee series, of which the Sunday performance of this program is the first. Each performance includes such classics as "California Dreamin', " "Don't You Worry 'Bout a Thing, " "Mother and Child Reunion, " "Ain't No Sunshine When She's Gone" and more.

New York Voices is the Grammy Award-winning vocal ensemble renowned for its excellence in jazz and the art of group singing. The group was formed in 1987 and currently includes singers Darmon Meader, Peter Eldridge, Kim Nazarian and Lauren Kinhan. In recent years, they have worked with the Boston Pops to bring a new edge to the Pops orchestra circuit. In addition to the Baby Boomers program, they have a full program of Big Band arrangements which they have toured with the Boston Pops and many other prominent orchestras all over the United States, as well as a Christmas program.

Jannelle Gelfand of the Cincinnati Enquirer says of New York Voices, "the group's incomparable blend, hip delivery and great arrangements resulted in one swinging party. Their four-part harmonizing was so close, it was hard to tell where one voice ended and another began."

Conductor Chris Walden made a name for himself on two continents before the age of 30, from a teenage trumpeter writing big band arrangements for his high school band in Germany to composing for film and television in Hollywood and arranging for some of the biggest names in music. He has become known for creating big and passionate music, with a lush and emotional style uniquely suited to compliment Hollywood productions. Walden won the Ernst Fischer Prize twice for orchestral composition, has recorded 60 CDs and scored many films, including The Last Cowboy for Hallmark, The Lady In Question for A&E, Alien Siege and Crimson Force for Sci Fi Channel, and several TV movies for CBS and ABC.

Walden has written arrangements for well-known stars of the music world including Sheryl Crow, Christopher Cross, Nancy Wilson, Michael Bolton and Bill Conti. His own big band in Los Angeles has been nominated for two Grammys and received critical acclaim.

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