February 24, 2010

‘Poor People of Paris’ join orchestra for concert

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Elsie Parker is coming to Shryock Auditorium at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and she’s bringing The Poor People of Paris with her.

Parker and the Poor People of Paris join the Southern Illinois Symphony Orchestra for a “cabaret night” beginning at 7:30 p.m. on March 2. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $6 for students. Get tickets in advance at the ticket offices at the SIU Arena or Student Center, or at the Shryock Auditorium box office. Tickets are also available the night of the performance.

Members of the Poor People of Paris present a special concert for young listeners as part of the popular Klassics for Kids series. That performance is free, and begins at 10 a.m. on March 2 in Altgeld Hall, Room 112. The target audience is children from newborn through pre-school age. The program is tailored to help them appreciate elements of classical music at a level suitable for their attention spans and youth.

The St. Louis-based Poor People of Paris are Mike Carosello (keyboard), Wayne Coniglio (bass) and Alan Schilling (drums and percussion) with Elsie Parker (French vocals, tenor sax, flute, clarinet).

The evening performance features popular French music, including songs made famous by Edith Piaf, and more recently by Gilbert Bécaud and Michel Legrand, as well as their own music. Parker appeared on the French television program, “La Chance Aux Chansons,” which was also shown in Canada and French-speaking countries in Africa. The group has several recordings, which received good reviews from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Folkfire Reviews, and Intermission Magazine.

The orchestra rounds out the night with the Toreador March from the French comic opera “Carmen,” composed by Georges Bizet. Several SIUC School of Music students solo during this performance, featuring: Chuhan Wang, piano, from Fushun, China; Jessica Drake, horn, from Charleston, Ill.; and Yehun Kim, guest conductor, from Korea by way of France.