Calendar » Get Out

Rhapsody in Brew

Orchestra pays tribute to Gershwin, premium beer.


Blossom Festival Band conductor Loras John Schissel doesn’t get many opportunities to blow some jazz. “[I’m a] tuba player,” he sighs. Which is why he welcomes tonight’s Blossom Festival Orchestra program, Celebrating George and Ira Gershwin: An American in Paris. The songwriting siblings (George composed the tunes; Ira penned the words) bridged the gap between classical and jazz in films and on Broadway during their 1920s and ’30s heyday. “People have probably heard Gershwin even before they knew it was Gershwin,” says Schissel. “If they’ve heard that United Airlines commercial [which uses their “Rhapsody in Blue”], they’ve heard Gershwin.”

Tonight’s program also features Helen Welch, who’ll sing some of the brothers’ standards. Plus, several rarely heard Gershwin compositions are on tap -- like the “other Rhapsody,” better known as “New York Rhapsody.” “It’s a fantastic piece that evokes the big city,” says Schissel, who went back and tweaked the score to undo some changes that were made over the years. “I’m going over the ‘fixes’ made by other composers, so you can hear Gershwin as close to what Gershwin originally wrote.” The orchestra is also holding a preconcert beer tasting starting at 5:30 p.m. For $15, participants receive five samples, snacks, a commemorative glass, and a slight buzz to go with all that Gershwin.
Sat., July 28, 8 p.m.

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club for as little as $5 a month.