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When I Play Music Campaign Back with ASO



Today, Tuesday, May 1, 2012, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra launches its second annual “When I Play Music” campaign, a broad-based giving campaign which will focus on supporting the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its education and community programs, and raising awareness of the impact of a music-rich educational experience for students. The four-week campaign will continue through the end of the Orchestra’s fiscal year, May 31, 2012, with a financial goal of raising at least $40,000 in small contributions (not including matching gift donations) starting at just $5, and an additional goal of cultivating 1,000 new Orchestra donors.

The “When I Play Music” online campaign will be primarily driven by social media, and will utilize online giving to enable audiences to give donations, beginning at just $5, to support the Orchestra’s vast education and community engagement programs and initiatives. A microsite containing informational videos and additional campaign details is available at

All donors will be entered to win a trip for two to New York City to hear the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra perform at Carnegie Hall on October 27, 2012. The trip will include roundtrip tickets on Delta Air Lines as well as hotel accommodations. Contest rules are available at

“The Atlanta Symphony is known best for performing great music and presenting great artists — but we are also an educator, nurturing talented student musicians and exposing young audiences to musical experiences,” said Atlanta Symphony Orchestra President Stanley E. Romanstein, Ph.D. “When students have access to the arts, they achieve higher academic test scores, watch less T.V., and participate in more community service. Music impacts our lives in so many ways. We hope the Atlanta community will again support this campaign for music education with $5 donations.”

“The powerful impact of a music-rich education allows kids to play an instrument, sing, and listen to music as part of the learning process, while also reinforcing confidence, teamwork, discipline, and expression of oneself,” said Morgan County Elementary School Music Specialist Kathy Ellis. “The Atlanta Symphony, through this $5 campaign, is seeking to address a void in music education for the children of our community. As a music educator, I am grateful for this effort, and I am proud our Atlanta Symphony Orchestra continues to be a musical leader not only in the region, but also around the country.”

Offering nearly 40,000 hours of music instruction annually, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra reaches nearly 50,000 students and music educators annually from 27 Georgia counties. Of those attending the Orchestra’s various educational offerings, 25% were offered free or reduced admissions from low-income communities. In addition, student musicians who stay in the Orchestra’s training programs, such as the Atlanta Symphony Youth Orchestra and the Talent Development Program, have a 100% graduation rate from high school — and approximately 97% have gone on to pursue higher education at some of the country’s top schools, including the The Juilliard School, Oberlin Conservatory of Music, Peabody Conservatory of Music, Cleveland Institute of Music, Harvard, Yale, Princeton, and others.

Visit for online giving information, informational videos, social streaming, and campaign updates.

Artists to Watch

Cry With Us! Puddles Pity Party in Orlando



Ange Alex

I owe him a poem:

Here’s a story of a sad clown who one night in February was traveling through O-town. 

He brought a suitcase and a lot of gum, he brought music and videos and tons of fun.

He sang high but mostly he sang low, and he put of one hell of a good show.

He gave a bearded guy a cupcake and danced with a lady, a wolf he would make

There is no doubt he is a boss sir, he even got love from Kevin Costner.

Fans filled the plaza for a night of delight as the 7 foot clown gave us some real insight.

He sang Bowie and Queen and even some Who, also Cash, Lorde and “Let it go” too

Videos played of pets and babies crying, also beautiful artwork and people smiling.

Last night Orlando was anything but mad as we showed much love for a clown that is sad.

Ok, I’d cry too after that poem. Here’s some more info:

If you haven’t been to see a Puddles Pity Party show, you are missing out. 

The show had me smiling and laughing so hard my stomach hurt, but I was also moved so many times by the range of Puddles voice. True entertainment never gets old and I have a feeling he is going to last forever.

I loved the interaction he had with the crowd. He pulled numerous people up to help him on stage and all of them were good sports, one man even singing the entire song, “All by myself” karaoke style! The show was so well thought out and planned but with room for some hilarious improv. Especially at the end when he pulled the 3 fans from the audience dressed like clowns. At the end of them performing together, Puddles suddenly remembers that he is scared of clowns! Genius! 

Hands down one of the best performances I’ve seen in years.


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Holiday Fun

Kingsized Holiday Fun! Big Mike is Back at the Variety Playhouse!



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Big Mike Geier and his Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll Orchestra, along with the Dames Aflame Dancers, Lil’ Santa and other special guests, bring tidings of comfort and joy with their signature glitz and glamour in what has become a tinsel-time tradition at the Variety Playhouse. The all-ages 90-minute show features your Holiday favorites by the likes of Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Andy Williams, Heat Miser, The Grinch and more!

Photo: Emily Butler

We caught up with Big Mike to ask a few questions.

TBB: Big Mike! It’s been a couple years since we had the pleasure of seeing you perform live. We are so excited to be back in Atlanta and we are ready for this show. What can you tell us about this years event?

Big Mike: Welcome back to Atlanta, Ange! We’re also excited to be in town for another wild and wonderful Holiday Jubilee. We like to honor the tradition that the Jubilee has become and don’t mess too much with the format. You can expect the always magnificent sounds of the 12-piece Kingsized Rock ‘n Roll orchestra performing your favorite holiday classics and the dazzling Dames Aflame dancers providing the glamour. The show is all about holiday nostalgia, whatever that means to you: Bing Crosby, Andy Williams, Donnie Hathaway, The Grinch, Rankin Bass, Peanuts, the Dreidel Song? It’s all in there.

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Music Gallery

Turkuaz at Aisle 5



Brooklyn based funk band Turkuaz played at Aisle Five in Atlanta last week and here are some shots from the show!

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