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Columbia Orchestra travels the world in upcoming pops show

The Teelin dancers will perform with the Columbia Orchestra on March 19.
The Teelin dancers will perform with the Columbia Orchestra on March 19. (Submitted photo /)

St. Patrick's Day and the days around it might as well be marked in green on the March calendar, because this festive holiday seemingly has everybody in an Irish mood. That's certainly the case for the Columbia Orchestra's Symphonic Pops concert on Saturday, March 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Jim Rouse Theatre.

"I'm really thrilled with the program," said Columbia Orchestra music director Jason Love.

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He isn't the only one who feels that way. The appeal of such a program is so strong that this concert already is seeing plenty of green in another sense owing to its sold-out status.

This means there will be the sound of many applauding hands to acknowledge the dancing feet of the Teelin Irish Dance Company, which is making its third appearance with the Columbia Orchestra. The Columbia-based dance company will do "Lord of the Dance," Leroy Anderson's "The Irish Suite" and other Celtic-themed numbers.

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"The kids are real pros," Love said with admiration for these young dancers.

And Love has other Irish inflections planned for this program. Songs from "Finian's Rainbow" will be performed by soprano Theresa Bickham and baritone John Dooley. As with the program as a whole, however, they are not doing exclusively Irish tunes. These two singers also do songs from "Les Miserables."

Bickham and Dooley have solid credentials in both opera and musical theater. It's particularly apt that both vocalists have sung roles in Stephen Sondheim musicals, because this esteemed Broadway composer holds up to opera house scrutiny.

Bickham is on the faculty at Towson University and has sung widely elsewhere. Dooley's credits include such contemporary opera roles as Badger the Miner in Tobias Picker's "Fantastic Mr Fox," and he even had a role in Todd Goodman's "Night of the Living Dead."

Ireland is hardly the only international stop in the concert.

"We continue our march around the world," Love joked, with Carmen Dragon's festively Mexican "Tico Tico," and also the Hungarian march from Berlioz' "Damnation of Faust."

Moving into the world of movie music, Love and the orchestra will perform selections from the movie scores for "The Magnificent Seven" and "Jurassic Park,"

Of particular local interest, two winners of the orchestra's 2016 Young Artist Competition are on the program.

Senior Strings Division winner Kenneth Naito joins the orchestra for the first movement of Prokofiev's Violin Concerto No. 1 in D Major; and Junior Winds Division winner Angelina Lim joins it for Chaminade's Concertino for flute.

The Columbia Orchestra performs Saturday, March 1,9 at 7:30 p.m. at Jim Rouse Theatre, 5460 Trumpeter Road in Columbia. Ticket prices are $10- $25, but this is a sold-out concert. Call 410-465-8777 or go to www.columbiaorchestra.org

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