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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Communications
(714) 876-2380

"Roll Over, Beethoven!" It's Bach to Rock for Pacific Symphony and special guest band, J.T. and Friends, as they deliver a mighty mix of pop, rock, soul and classical hits

July 09, 2013

Get ready to groove as Pacific Symphony and Music Director Carl St.Clair deliver music’s greatest hits—from the last four centuries! Think “American Bandstand” with a European twist: Great pop, rock and soul hits are mixed with favorite classical pieces for the Symphony’s third concert of Summer Festival 2013, presented by Hoag. For this whirlwind “best of” night, the Symphony shares the stage with the 40-piece dance band, J.T. and Friends, for a sonic “Roll Over Beethoven—From Bach to Rock.” Led by drummer John Tu from Kingston Technology, J.T. and Friends has brought down the house at the Symphony’s Gala for the past three years with its myriad singers, talented musicians and fun-loving mix of songs from the 1960s to today. Now, in a rare collaboration with the orchestra, the group performs songs made famous by music icons The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Aretha Franklin, the Pointer Sisters, Rod Stewart, Whitney Houston and more for night that is sure to rock the amphitheater!

The evening’s expansive musical slate features songs everyone knows and loves, including “Yesterday,” “Hey, Jude” “Respect,” “Jump (For My Love),” “New York, New York,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “Walk Like a Man, “Georgia on My Mind,” “I Will Always Love You,” “Have I Told You Lately?” “Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?” and more! Plus, Maestro St.Clair reaches back a few centuries to round out the program with some of the most popular and well-known classical pieces: selections from Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Tchaikovsky’s “Swan Lake” and Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro,” as well as Bach’s “Air on the G String,” Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” and Brahms Hungarian Dance No. 5; plus, Gershwin’s “Summertime” from “Porgy and Bess” and music from Bernstein’s Broadway masterpiece, “West Side Story.”

“The concert blends some of the most important musical moments from Bach to Beethoven to Chuck Berry to the Beatles and onward to music of today,” says St.Clair. “It will be a ‘magic carpet ride’ spanning four centuries. And what a ride it will be!”

The concert takes place Sunday, Aug. 4, at 7:30 p.m. at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine. Tickets range from $25 (lawn seating) to $104 (orchestra seating); children under 14 are half price in most sections with the purchase of an adult ticket. Guests are welcome to picnic on the grounds of the amphitheater starting at 5:30 p.m. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“John Tu and his band bring the same artistic integrity to their performances of 20th- and 21st-century popular music as Pacific Symphony strives to do with our classical performances,” continues St.Clair. “The Symphony and I look forward to sitting side-by-side with J.T. and Friends to create an exciting musical evening out at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater. John Tu is an artist of the highest standards. As friends, we are going to have a lot of fun, and our audience will as well!”

Accepting only a limited number of engagements, ordinarily all of which are fundraising efforts for the arts and medicine, J.T. and Friends joins the Symphony for this rare public appearance. What started as a jam session and developed into a band is now a full orchestra (called J.T. and Friends) playing on the big stage. The rhythm section alone includes seven pieces, the brass has 13 and the strings number 14. Four background singers complement a wide range of lead singers. The musicians who surround Tu on the drums have a host of individual accomplishments that contribute to the band’s overall talent. Members of J.T. and Friends have performed with Neil Young, Al Jarreau, George Benson and Smokey Robinson; worked with Glenn Yarbrough and Sergio Mendes; played Carnegie Hall, toured China and played at the Great Wall; several have won Emmy Awards; and the orchestra’s costume designer also works with Paul McCartney and Sting.

Up next—Pacific Symphony brings to life cherished musical moments from beloved family films during “Pixar in Concert,” on Saturday, Aug. 17, at 8 p.m. On the big screen, some of cinema’s most memorable characters star in favorite scenes from “Toy Story,” “Cars,” “Finding Nemo,” “The Incredibles,” “Wall-E,” “Up,” “Brave” and more.

The Symphony’s Summer Festival 2013 is presented by Hoag with support from the Orange County Register and major sponsor Mercedes-Benz. The festival receives additional support from American Airlines, VIZIO, The Westin South Coast Plaza and media sponsors KUSC, K-EARTH, KPCC and PBS SoCal.