Jackie Evancho Helps ASO Open Its Summer Season

The pre-teen classical singer performed with the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra at Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre in Alpharetta.

I learned something valuable about myself at the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra summer season opening concert at Sunday. My patience runs out after 2 hours.

The concert, with classicial singer Jackie Evancho joining the orchestra, and newcomer Josh Page as well. I think. But two songs into the concert, it was always the same thing.

Ms. Evancho, now 12-years-old, was discovered by most of the United States through the America's Got Talent TV show competition. On Sunday night, she performed many of the songs from her CD, "Dream With Me," plus other songs which showcased her talent. It's incredible that such a young, tiny performer can have such a big voice, and that was clearly on display when she was on stage at the amphitheater in Alpharetta.

She seemed more in control of her voice than Josh Page, who was her special guest and performed solos and duets with her. Perhaps his voice control was weaker at the start of songs because he kept being brought out for just a song while she took a break after singing several.

But none of this has to do with my patience, which started to get tested after Ms. Evancho's second song. I can remember how it went with her rendition of "When You Wish Upon A Star." A novice photographer sat down beside me.

When you wish upon a star
Makes no diff CLICK CLICK you are
Anything your CLICK sires
Will come to you

If your CLICK CLICK dream
No request is too CLICK
When you wish upon a star
As dreamers do

You get the picture. And that's what the guy who dropped into the seat next to me was trying to do – get the picture. Apparently he wasn't at the concert for the music, he just wanted to get a good photo of Jackie Evancho.

You wouldn't have heard the camera's shutter if you weren't sitting right next to him. And I did ask him if he was going to be shooting during every song, but the subtlety was lost on him as he replied that it was hard to get a good photo.  Since I was reviewing the concert, I didn't feel it was appropriate for me to complain to ushers, if the people on his other side weren't being bothered.

Now those of you who frequent Chastain and the constant murmur of the crowd as people eat, drink and be merry while performers try to be the center of attention probably have no sympathy with me. And I'm not looking for it. But if you saw me almost running out of the amphitheater as the notes from the orchestra were still dying down from Ms. Evancho's encore, now you know why: It was to prevent myself from saying something rude.

But back to the concert. Other than the constant shooting beside me, it was a great concert with the ASO expertly following Ms. Evancho in her renditions of the songs on her set list. I especially liked her version of Don McLean's "Starry Starry Night." The crowd greeted her with applause each time she took the stage, and whenever she took a break.

While she was singing, her age wasn't apparent. But between songs, she reminded you that she's not even in her teens yet, with little giggles, and shy smiles as she replied "I love you, too," to fans who called out to her. The cool, calm exterior she has while singing shifts easily into what seems to be her real persona, that of a young girl just happy to be on stage, doing something she loves. That joy of singing came through in her songs, too.

If you have the chance to see Jackie Evancho in concert in the future, don't pass it up.

Robert L. Wiggins June 05, 2012 at 01:13 PM
You express poignantly why the Evancho team has tried very hard to discourage amature photography at her concerts. There's no explaining the behavior of some, I guess. But I wish everyone could read your review.


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