From Bach to Rock
Gufs, MSO offer free summer concert series
All four of the concerts are free and open to the public thanks to sponsorship by U.S. Bank and Target, as well as support from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation.
The concerts grew out of The Gufs’ most recent album, 2006’s A Different Sea, which featured several tracks with string arrangements performed by MSO musicians. Pleased with the sound of the album and anticipating their 20th anniversary this year, the band proposed a joint performance. The symphony loved the idea and found sponsors to bring the music out of Uihlein Hall and into the local parks.
Resident Conductor Stuart Chafetz, who has spent the past 20 years conducting
and performing timpani in
survived winter in
love playing outdoor concerts because people are having such a good time grilling
out, drinking beer and taking it all in,” he says. “The crowd last year at
The MSO is hoping to top those numbers this summer with the help of some of the world’s catchiest melodies.
The concerts will begin with symphony performances of upbeat classics such as Dvorak’s Carnival Overture and John Williams’ Raiders March, which many concertgoers will recognize from the Indiana Jones film franchise, Chafetz says.
“We’ve chosen pieces that will have people singing, dancing and whistling throughout the concerts and all the way home,” he says.
Gufs singer Goran Kralj says the band will perform crowd favorites “Smile” and “Crash (Into Me),” plus a handful of other Gufs songs, with the MSO in the second half.
Kralj says he expects that the performance will be a “real Guns N’ Roses moment, with the fans rocking along with The Gufs and the orchestra.”
MSO fans may be surprised to discover that Chafetz knows how to rock with the best of ’em: He’s performed with a long list of rock legends, including Yes, Three Dog Night and Pat Benatar, in addition to being an unabashed fan of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
The arrangements of the music—done by Hal Leonard veteran Larry Moore—are a key to making the concert a true rock experience as well.
But biggest and best of all will be the sound.
As Raciti puts it: “An electric guitar is made to be recorded, but there’s no way to reproduce the wallop that a 100-piece orchestra packs in a live performance. You hear it once, and you’re hooked for life.”
The MSO is giving away 2,000 tickets to the zoo for the June 29 concert. These tickets may be obtained by calling the MSO ticket office at (414) 291-7605 before June 29.