One of the highlights for me of this past New York theater season, which was overwhelmed with great new work both musical and non, was the new show¬†Bandstand, with a score by Richard Oberbacker and Robert Taylor. This trenchant, poignant yet unfailingly exuberant and toe-tapping show garnered great reviews and much enthusiastic word of mouth, and rightly so. Sadly, amidst the competition this season it never found a strong foothold, and is closing on September 17. So if you’re in New York or coming, I can’t recommend this show enough: catch it live while you can. It’s a big, complicated show and I imagine a tour is a long shot.

Aside from Andy Blankenbuehler’s choreography that rightly won this year’s Tony and stellar performances across the board, this score has some of the most amazing arrangements and orchestration in recent years by Greg Anthony Rassen and Bill Elliott, and given the genius work that’s been coming in lately that’s saying a lot.

Seriously, catch it live if you can. Failing that, or better yet in addition to, the original Broadway cast recording superbly captures this show.

The original 5 to 9 composer

As I further my advocacy for the #5to9 artist, or composer with a day job, it’s seemed overdue to delve back in to the work of the pioneer in this area, as in so many: Charles Ives. These gorgeous, probing accounts from the Seattle Symphony under Ludovic Morlot of Ives’ 3rd and 4th symphonies, as well as the haunting “Central Park In The Dark”, have been inspiring reminders that, while you may have to make your living outside of music, that needn’t compromise the quality or adventurousness of your creative output. Sometimes being outside of the crucible can free you up, as proved by these beautifully performed remarkable works.