A challenging year, classic radio archives, meet our VP and more
Welcome back to Interlude, where we’re excited to “spring” into a new season (get it?) with this rich selection of enlightening arts and entertainment content.
VIDEO: A challenging year brings success stories
Here at the Center, we’ve been reflecting back on what we hope will be remembered as the strangest year in the modern history of the performing arts. In March 2020, with no artists on tour and tight limits on public gatherings, the future looked a bit gloomy.
But thanks to the ingenuity of our staff and artists, and the generous support of our patrons, donors and sponsors, some really cool things have developed over the past 12 months. President/CEO Jeff McDermott invites you to follow the evolution in this pandemic-year-in-review video.
We’re pretty sure the coming year will be more exciting and enjoyable, at least from the performing arts standpoint. In fact, we’ll be making a big announcement tomorrow that can only be seen as a step in the right direction. Stay tuned!
Meet our “center fielder”
Nobody knows the Center for the Performing Arts better than Jeff Steeg, who came aboard as lead audio engineer in 2010, before the venues even opened. Since 2017, he’s been the Vice President of Operations, overseeing event production, maintenance, security and a lot of other stuff that determine the quality of your visit to the Center. On show nights, he approaches the job “like a center fielder,” viewing the whole ballgame from a wide perspective and jumping in wherever needed.
You may recognize this Westfield resident as the host of our Places, Please! campus tour video series, but he’s also a family man, youth sports volunteer and “a sucker for logistics.” What? Learn more about Jeff in the latest episode of Serving You, sponsored by The National Bank of Indianapolis.
Inspiring the young folks with music
Last week we told you about the KAR Front Seat Q&A session coming up Monday with Adam Ollendorff, a working musician and songwriter on the Nashville scene. (By the way, spots are still available for students with musical interests who want to join the conversation, and for anyone interested in listening.)
Ollendorff has worked with artists like Carrie Underwood, Kacey Musgraves, Maren Morris and Jim Lauderdale, and he also shares the Center’s commitment to arts education. Carmel Monthly magazine writer Janelle Morrison talked with Ollendorff recently and just posted her customarily insightful interview, which discusses his day job teaching songwriting to youth at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. Read the story.
In the Archives: Classic radio arrangements
Songbook Foundation Founder Michael Feinstein is back with another video visit to the Songbook Archives, this time highlighting a historic collection of orchestral arrangements from the golden age of radio, when programs employed live musicians.
Known as the Bethards-Massey Collection, it contains 150,000 arrangements used by CBS and NBC network radio stations from the 1920s to the 1950s. The materials arrived in two semi-trailer loads from their previous home in Oakland, California.
March 21: On this date in 1991, Leo Fender, inventor of the legendary Telecaster and Stratocaster guitars, died from Parkinson's disease. He began mass-producing solid-body electric guitars in the late 1940s, and when he sold his company in 1965, sales were in excess of $40 million a year. Fender guitar artists who have performed at the Palladium include Buddy Guy, Elvis Costello, Clint Black and Vince Gill.
March 22: On this date in 1948, composer and musical theater icon Andrew Lloyd Webber was born in London, England. He has written 13 musicals, including Broadway hits Evita, Cats and The Phantom of the Opera, as well as hit songs such as “All I Ask of You,” “I Don't Know How to Love Him,” “Any Dream Will Do” and “Memory.” The Center’s resident Civic Theatre has produced Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat three times, opening in December 2012, December 2013 and December 2017.
March 22: On this date in 1930, lyricist Stephen Sondheim was born in New York City. His Broadway hits have included A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Sunday in the Park with George, West Side Story, Company and Gypsy. Sondheim productions seen at the Center have included Sweeney Todd and Into the Woods.
March 26: On this date in 1950, comedian and actor Martin Short was born in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Short has performed at the Palladium twice, in August 2011 and with longtime pal Steve Martin in September 2019.
March 27: On this date in 1963, jazz saxophonist Dave Koz was born in Encino, California. A Center favorite, Koz has performed eight times at the Palladium (one of the eight pictured above).