BY MARY WICOFF
A pink tuxedo is on standby … waiting to see if the community can come up with $5,000 for breast cancer research.
If the goal is reached, conductor Jeremy Swerling will wear a pink tuxedo during “Mancini & Moonlight,” performed by the Danville Symphony Orchestra. The performance will start at 7:30 p.m. Saturday in Dick Van Dyke Auditorium at Danville High School, 202 E. Fairchild St.
In fact, the entire evening will be pink-tinged, as the symphony ties its program in with Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The men and women in the orchestra will wear pink ties or pink accents, and there will be pink balloons as part of the “Pink on Purpose” campaign.
As for the concert itself, the orchestra will take the audience down lover’s lane to the sounds of Henry Mancini. Special guest vocalists Teri Dale Hansen and Nat Chandler will sing the favorites that define the Mancini style, including “The Days of Wine and Roses,” “Charade” and “Moon River.”
Other popular tunes include “The Baby Elephant Walk,” “Peter Gunn,” “The Pink Panther” and “Victor Victoria.”
“It’s going to be amazing,” said Staci Walker, executive director of the symphony.
Explaining how the fundraiser came about, she said, “One of Mancini’s most beloved contributions to the film industry was ‘The Pink Panther.’” With this being Breast Cancer Awareness Month, she added, “We thought it was a nice tie-in.”
Thus, the idea for a fundraiser was born, with money being divided between the Regional Cancer Center at Presence United Samaritans Medical Center and the American Institute for Cancer Research.
Jim Anderson, vice president of Presence United Samaritans Medical Center Foundation, said the fundraiser is “a wonderful testament to the symphony’s commitment to the health of the community, and the latest example of partnerships they have struck with so many community organizations over the years.
“The DSO gift to Presence United Samaritans Foundation will help underwrite our community education and early detection programs, along with safety net funding for those seeking treatment at our Regional Cancer Center.
“We’re all working to make every month Breast Cancer Awareness Month, as early detection results in early treatment, which truly saves lives.”
At the concert, Mike Brown, CEO of Presence United Samaritans and Covenant, will talk about the research that is being done to combat breast cancer.
People are invited to make contributions all through October at the symphony office, 149 N. Vermilion St. Cash, check and credit card donations will be accepted through the end of the month. Checks should have “Pink on Purpose” written on the memo line. Make checks payable to Danville Symphony Orchestra. Those interested also may charge a donation by calling 443-5300.
Walker said the goal is to raise $5,000 for breast cancer research; right now, about $1,300 has been raised. If the full amount is raised by Friday, Swerling will wear a pink tux; if not, he’ll sport a pink tie and cummerbund.
“The committee has been very generous to the symphony,” she said, “and we thought this was a nice way to give back.”
She added, “It’s a nice way to show our support, that we care. We can’t physically help them (breast cancer patients) battle it, but we can help support research.” There are friends of the symphony who have survived or are battling breast cancer.
After the concert
The DSO will have a post-concert reception Saturday from 10 p.m. to midnight at The Heron, 34 N. Vermilion St. in downtown Danville. Enjoy live music and guest artists Nat Chandler and Teri Dale Hansen, hors d’oeurves, desserts and a cash bar featuring a “Pink Panther” pomegranate martini.
The event is limited to the first 125 guests, and a few tickets remain. This event is free to season ticket holders, but a donation is appreciated. Single ticket holders may attend for $10.
Teri Dale Hansen began her career starring as “Magnolia” in London’s West End in Harold Prince’s production of “Show Boat.” She stars as Rose on the Bravo channel as part of its Bravo on Broadway series in the film version of “Street Scene,” a film that has received international acclaim.
Hansen made her Broadway debut in 2002 in “The Boys From Syracuse,” and has appeared numerous times at City Center with “Encores!” and starred off Broadway as Jessica Gatewood in “Splendora.” Her debut solo CD, “Into Your Arms, Love Songs of Richard Rodgers” was released in 2003. Hansen toured nationally as Marian Paroo in “The Music Man” (2005) and starred as Guenevere opposite Robert Goulet (as Arthur) in the national tour of “Camelot” (2004).
Nat Chandler has played leading roles in a broad spectrum of American musicals and operetta across the country, including “A Little Night Music,” “Carousel,” “Oklahoma!” and others. He received two Barrymore Award nominations for best actor in a musical for his performances as the phantom in the Kopit/Yestin “Phantom!” and Lancelot in “Camelot.” As a concert performer, Chandler has appeared as soloist with many renowned American symphonies.
Support for the Mancini & Moonlight performance comes from Presence United Samaritans Medical Center and Financial Legacy Partners–Wealth Advisors of Raymond James.
Ticket prices for adults are $30 in Section A and $28 in Section B. Senior tickets are $28 in Section A and $26 in Section B. Student tickets are available for $15. Visa and MasterCard are accepted. To order tickets by phone, call 443-5300.
A few tickets are available for the post-concert reception at The Heron. Call the number above or email firstname.lastname@example.org. This is free to season ticket holders, but a donation is appreciated. Single ticket holders may attend for $10.