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Natalie Merchant To Perform With Students At SUNY Purchase

Natalie Merchant will be at SUNY Purchase on March 20.
Natalie Merchant will be at SUNY Purchase on March 20. Photo Credit: Mark Seliger

This story has been updated.

PURCHASE, N.Y. -- If you're a Natalie Merchant fan, you'll want to book this: A concert by the famed singer/songwriter in an orchestral concert accompanied by the Purchase Symphony Orchestra (PSO).

The Performing Arts Center , Purchase College (SUNY) is presenting the concert featuring some of her best-known songs on Friday, March 20, at 8 p.m. And best of all: SUNY's best musicians will be right there alongside her.

"I'm really looking forward to performing with the student orchestra at Purchase.," Merchant told Daily Voice.. "Every orchestra has a different energy; the younger, emerging musicians play with passion and vitality. They tend to understand the music very well."

The orchestra is almost entirely composed of students in the Conservatory of Music in the School of the Arts at Purchase.

The pairing of Merchant with the orchestra was conceived months ago when the director of The Performing Arts Center, Harry McFadden, was discussing the booking with her representative.

“Her agent mentioned that Natalie has an ‘orchestral’ version of her show that she has been performing in various venues," he said. "Our Conservatories in the School of the Arts contain some truly amazing talent and I’ve been looking for ways to showcase the students. This opportunity seemed a natural fit. Ms. Merchant is an extraordinary artist and the PSO, led by faculty member Ransom Wilson, is an extremely talented ensemble."

Among the 42 students in the ensemble are several students who reside in or not far from Westchester County, including violinists Lori Horowitz of Armonk and Sophie Dolamore of Kingston, cellist Aaron Stier and bass player Kyle Behnken of Poughkeepsie, horn section player Jared Silbernagel of Warwick, and trombonist Ryan McNulty of New Hyde Park.

Merchant will be rehearsing with the student players throughout the afternoon prior to the performance and will determine her set list of songs to be performed that day.

Natalie Merchant rose to prominence as lead singer of 10,000 Maniacs, but enjoyed even greater success as a solo artist beginning in the 1990s. Her biggest-selling album, "Tigerlily," debuted at number 13 on the Billboard chart and scored a top ten single with “Carnival.” Other platinum albums have included "Ophelia" and "Live in Concert." Her most recent album, 2010’s "Leave Your Sleep," debuted at number 17.

Tickets are $75, $65 and $50 and are available at The Performing Arts Center’s Box Office at 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase by phone at 914-251-6200; or 24/7 online at www.ArtsCenter.org/ .

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