published Friday, October 14th, 2011

CSO takes it to the limit this weekend


What: Chattanooga Symphony & Opera Pops concert, "Take It to the Limit: Music of the Eagles," with Jeans 'n' Classics.

When: 8 p.m. Saturday.

Where: Tivoli Theatre, 709 Broad St.

Admission: $19-$79.

Phone: 267-8583.

Websites:, www.jeansn

Classic meets classical this weekend at the Tivoli Theatre.

Jeans 'n' Classics, a frequent friend of the Chattanooga Symphony & Opera, is returning to perform "Take It to the Limit," showcasing the music of the Eagles, rearranged for an orchestra.

They are not looking to imitate but more to honor. "We're not the clone act, and we don't want to get into that thing where they dress up like the person and pretend they're them," said Peter Brennan, owner and arranger for the London, Ontario-based company.

Guest artists, featuring Michael Shotton, will perform with the CSO under the baton of music director emeritus Robert Bernhardt, who is making his first return to the Tivoli stage since stepping down as music director in May.

Bernhardt is eager to get back in the saddle.

"I am very happy and very comfortable with my new role with the orchestra," he said of his position as CSO Pops conductor.

The Jeans 'n' Classics performance is the first of five Pop concerts for the 2011-2012 season.

The pops aspect of the symphony in particular is growing, said Bernhardt, and audiences are eager to support the shows.

"They're invested, they're involved, and they do good work," he said.

Marrying an orchestral sound with rock and pop music is a fine bridge, noted Brennan, though he doesn't expect it to make Pink Floyd fans shout for Shostakovich.

The audience who will see an orchestral version of a classic-rock repertoire will not necessarily embrace Mozart, he said, but it does increase an awareness and perhaps support of local symphonies such as the CSO.

Still, the concept Jeans 'n' Classics brings might have only been "flirted with" beforehand.

"If we came into town and were appearing somewhere and that orchestra wasn't there, it wouldn't be particularly interesting either, so I think it's a lovely gel of the two worlds," Brennan said. "We went into it wanting to create something with an orchestra, but rather than have the orchestra as a backup group, have the orchestra front and center with us, so that the evening gives the person that's coming an orchestra fix as well as a classic-rock or pop fix."

Bernhardt said the Eagles, who boast a number of ballads, translate well to an orchestral interpretation.

"Not all rock 'n' roll bands should have orchestral arrangements, but the Eagles definitely should," he said.

about Holly Leber ...

Holly Leber is a reporter and columnist for the Life section. She has worked at the Times Free Press since March 2008. Holly covers “everything but the kitchen sink" when it comes to features: the arts, young adults, classical music, art, fitness, home, gardening and food. She writes the popular and sometimes-controversial column Love and Other Indoor Sports. Holly calls both New York City and Saratoga Springs, NY home. She earned a bachelor of arts ...

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