Sunday, February 21, 2010

Ties to St. Louis. Who knew?

Last night I went to a symphony concert with my good friends, Cindy, Ann and Teresa.  It was a performance by the world-class Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra of music from Warner Bros.’ Merry Melodies and Looney Tunes cartoons. Needless to say, watching Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, the Roadrunner and Wile E. Coyote while listening to fabulous music was a good time. The show’s creator and conductor, George Daugherty, was a charming fellow and an excellent MC for the evening. From him we learned of some really interesting ties between St. Louis and the Warner Bros. cartoons. For example, we learned that Carl Stalling, the composer of most of the crazy musical pieces that accompanied the cartoons, was once the organist at the St. Louis Theatre—now Powell Symphony Hall, where the concert was taking place.

Powell Symphony Hall dome.jpg
Powel Symphony Hall photo from here

Stalling also happens to have been born in Missouri. The first piece of music he composed was for an unknown animator named Walt Disney. Do you know where it was screened? In St. Louis. At the Fox Theatre. Across the street from Powell. And Warner Bros Symphony Orchestra conductor Felix Slatkin was born—can you guess where? St. Louis. And he is the father of famed former Saint Louis Symphony conductor, Leonard Slatkin! Who knew??!


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