With the recent death of Marvin Hamlisch, the York Symphony Orchestra needed to quickly find a replacement for its upcoming pops concerts.
What better replacement than someone who had been at Hamlisch's side for his last musical?
Todd Ellison has been chosen to take the baton for the pops concerts, said Ken Wesler, the YSO executive director.
Ellison was music director for Hamlisch during "The Nutty Professor," a musical that debuted in Nashville a month ago with plans to go to Broadway.
Wesler said YSO wanted an "up-and-comer" and think they found one in Ellison. He's far from a newcomer; he's just new to the pops concert scene, Wesler pointed out.
Ellison has been music director for such shows as the Radio City Music Hall Christmas Spectacular and "Spamalot," and is slated to be music director of the revival of "Annie." He also just announced he'll be the conductor for the 2013-14 season of the Philly Pops Orchestra.
"This guy is an amazing talent," Wesler said.
Hamlisch died in early August, well after the upcoming season had been announced. The "Tribute to Gershwin" show on Nov. 17 and "From Hollywood to Broadway" on May 4, 2013, had already sold about 400 tickets before news of Hamlisch's passing, Wesler said.
Wesler said he's confident fans will still see the same quality of shows and noted that interest hasn't waned, as another 30 tickets have been sold in the past week.
Since Ellison was familiar with Hamlisch's style, there shouldn't be any great disparity in what fans should expect, Wesler said.
- Reach Andrew Shaw at firstname.lastname@example.org