Blues, rock and classics merge for Lyons Township Orchestrapalooza concert

Lyons Township High School students Christian Naval, form left, Nathan Zaworski and Mitch Galgan will play with Shirley King, B.B. King's daughter, for a concert April 12 benefitting the school orchestra. | Provided
Lyons Township High School students Christian Naval, form left, Nathan Zaworski and Mitch Galgan will play with Shirley King, B.B. King's daughter, for a concert April 12 benefitting the school orchestra. | Provided

Blues standards, rock hits and classical selections are featured on a program April 12 to benefit the Lyons Township High School Orchestra in Western Springs.

Radio personality and blues harmonica player Buzz Kilman headlines the event with his band, the Blues Rocket Scientists. Also performing will be Shirley King, daughter of blues guitar legend B.B. King, Far-Sighted, a student trio, and the LT orchestra.

Orchestrapalooza is scheduled from 5 to 10 p.m. at The Corral, just south of the school’s south campus, 4900 S. Willow Springs Road. Admission is $10 for adults and $5 for children, age 18 and younger.

The LT orchestra opens the evening with Modest Mussorgsky’s “Night on Bald Mountain,” followed by Karl Jenkins’ “Palladio” suite, recognized from DeBeers diamond commercials.

“I wanted something with shock and awe,” parent organizer Kristy White said of the thunderstorm portrayed in the Mussorgsky piece, featured in Disney’s “Fantasia.”

White and other members of the Orchestra Parents and Patrons Association are staging the concert to support orchestra programs, including help in defraying the cost of a tour in France in spring 2015. Costs have risen considerably since the orchestra toured Italy in 2013, White said.

“We have some spectacular raffle prizes, food vendors and information booths,” she said. “And we’re working on a celebrity meet-and-greet section to draw more people in.”

Appearances also have been lined up from Chicago artist Tony Fitzpatrick and Roz Varon from ABC Channel 7.

Far-Sighted follows the orchestra’s performance with a musical departure to classic rock, blues tunes and original compositions. The trio has played twice at Rocktoberfest in La Grange and recently won a Battle of the Bands contest in Brookfield.

The group is comprised of juniors Mitch Galgan on electric bass and Christian Naval on guitar and senior Nathan Zaworski on drums. At school and for theater groups, Galgan plays stand-up bass. Naval plays cello, both with LT and the Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. Zaworski plays drums and bass with LT’s jazz band.

“I’m not sure what we’re going to play yet,” Galgan said. “We play a lot of Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix, but we also do a lot of blues standards and some originals. We write a lot of music for our band.”

Far-Sighted also will be playing with Shirley King, stemming from an informal collaboration for the past two years between the blues singer and students.

“She’s really fun to play with. She can really work a crowd and always gets everyone going,” Galgan said. “She says she loves playing for children, that the blues should be kept alive.”

White said she was surprised but delighted when she asked Kilman to perform and he agreed.

“I wasn’t sure he was serious, but we’re good to go,” she said. “It should be a great night.”

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