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The string section of an orchestra usually includes dozens of violins, violas, cellos, and double basses. For one night in November, the Michigan Philharmonic Orchestra will add a ukulele for a special concerto.

“Jumpin'” Jim Beloff will be performing his piece Uke Can’t Be Serious: A Concerto for Ukulele and Symphony Orchestra along with the Michigan Phil at the Village Theater in Canton, Michigan, on November 12.

Beloff, an author, musician, composer, and all-around ukulele impresario, was commissioned by the Wallingford (CT) Symphony Orchestra to write a ukulele concerto in 1999. The result, Uke Can’t Be Serious: A Concerto for Ukulele and Symphony Orchestra, has been performed live by Beloff and company numerous times over the years. Not long ago, Beloff worked with Jason Nyberg to create a version using synthesized orchestration. The piece shows off the uke’s versatility, ranging from pensive passages to Tin Pan Alley-style pop to the instrument’s “My Dog Has Fleas” tuning.

Beloff’s performance will be a part of a larger program, featuring works by Aaron Copland, Richard Rodgers, Julia Perry, and Henry Cowell.

For tickets, visit the Village Theater or the Michigan Philharmonic.

Program Information

Sunday, November 12, 2016, 7:30 p.m. (pre-concert talk at 6:45 p.m.)


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The Village Theater at Cherry Hill, Canton, Michigan

Henry Cowell Old American Country Set (1939)

Julia Perry Short Piece for Orchestra (1965)

Jim Beloff Uke Can’t Be Serious: A Concerto for Ukulele and Symphony Orchestra (1999)

Richard Rodgers Tribute to Richard Rodgers (MPYO side-by-side)

Aaron Copland Four Dance Episodes from “Rodeo” (1942)