Sara Jean Ford to Debut Fully Orchestrated December Songs in Kansas | Playbill

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News Sara Jean Ford to Debut Fully Orchestrated December Songs in Kansas Sara Jean Ford, who appeared as Smitty in the recent Broadway revival of How to Succeed and as Christine in the Broadway production of Phantom of the Opera, will perform the Maury Yeston song-cycle December Songs with the Mid-Kansas Newton Symphony Orchestra Oct. 21.

Sara Jean Ford
Sara Jean Ford

The concert will premiere a newly orchestrated version of the song cycle that is inspired by inspired by Schubert's "Winter Journey." Robert Randazzo and Michael Fili penned the new musical charts that expand Yeston's chamber piece to accommodate a 45-50 piece orchestra. Thomas Douglas will conduct.

The concert is a labor of love for Ford, who was approached by conductor Thomas about any projects she wanted to pursue. The actress, who also appeared in A Little Night Music and Finian's Rainbow, told that December Songs immediately came to mind. "'Unusual Way' was my audition song for college, but I've never had the opportunity to do a show of his," Ford said of Yeston's work.

Ford contacted Yeston, the Tony-winning composer-lyricist of Nine, Titanic and Grand Hotel, about this new orchestral version. Yeston gave his blessing and also shared insight with Ford on the structure and emotional thread of the piece.

Seth Sklar-Hayn, associate director of Evita and The Phantom of the Opera, will direct the 4 PM concert at the Bethel College Memorial Hall in North Newton, KS.

Songs in the work, which was originally written for Andrea Marcovicci, include "December Snow," "Where Are You Now," "Please Let's Not Even Say Hello," "When Your Love Is New," "Bookseller in the Rain," "My Grandmother's Love Letters," "I Am Longing," "I Had a Dream About You," "By the River" and "What a Relief." previously profiled Ford who had a once-in-a-lifetime Broadway experience during her run of A Little Night Music in 2010.

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