‘Rock Tenors’ Blends Rock and Classical Worlds at the ASO

The musical genres of classical and rock come together for the Rock Tenors, the newest program from the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra playing May 9–10 at Atlanta Symphony Hall. Featuring orchestral takes on rock classics from artists like Paul McCartney, Journey, Coldplay and Queen, the Rock Tenors promise to be an exciting addition to this year’s ASO lineup. Making the May 9 performance even better, the Rock Tenors program is part of a special LGBT Night that includes premium seating and a post-concert reception with ASO musicians in CenterSpace.

The Rock Tenors brings together three vocalists from different backgrounds for each performance. They include Micah Wilshire, Shem von Schroeck, and Rob Evan. Evan, a native of Montecello, GA, has a number of prestigious credits to his name. He starred in the original Broadway cast of Jekyll & Hyde, was a cast member in other shows such as Les Miserables and Little Shop of Horrors, and is currently a member of the Trans-Siberian Orchestra as a vocalist. Fresh out of a rehearsal before the Rock Tenors make their Atlanta debut, David Atlanta spoke with Evan about what audiences can expect, returning to Georgia, and more.

David Atlanta: You’re a Georgia native. With your career taking you so many places, what is it like coming back to Georgia to perform?

Rob Evan: Well, I’m super thrilled. I’m thrilled to be back in Atlanta because I’m a Georgia boy, even though I’ve lived in New York for 20 years. I get a little nervous every time I perform for an Atlanta audience, because that’s my home.

DA: You’ve performed as part of the Rock Tenors a few times before. How did this act come together?

RE: I’m involved in a lot of rock/Broadway projects, because those are my two “things,” and I’ve been involved in the symphonic world for a long time. But this is only our third outing with the Rock Tenors. We did this a year and a half ago at Calgary, and the principal Pops conductor at the Atlanta Symphony, Michael Krajewski, is also the principal Pops conductor at a lot of other places. He brought us together. He knows my voice from doing a show called Broadway Rocks, and also created what the Symphony’s called Beatles & Friends.

And he brought two other “rock tenors” in. Shem von Schroeck, who is a bass player for Kenny Loggins’ band, and he’s about to go out on tour with Don Felder, Styx and Foreigner. He’s this great, super-talented guy who plays every instrument and sings wonderfully. And then we have Micah Wilshire, who is from Nashville. Micah’s been on tour with Michael Bolton, and he’s had some hits with his own band, Wilshire.

But we came together a year and a half ago at Calgary, and Maestro Krajewski had put this program together for us, and it just went really well. So we started booking, but symphonies book things out a year in advance, so we booked in Atlanta and Jacksonville right away, but that was a year ago. It’s funny, we’re coming together now, and it’s been a year and a half since we’ve seen each other. But we just did a rehearsal, and it was like we’d done it just yesterday.

DA: So at this concert, what can audiences expect to hear?

RE: The whole classic rock genre. I’m a kid of the 80s, and I love Journey and Foreigner and Led Zeppelin. So even though those bands are older than I am, I grew up listening to them. But it’s pretty wide. We’re doing songs from Paul McCartney and Wings, the Animals’ “House of the Rising Sun.” We’re doing a Kenny Loggins number that he and Michael McDonald wrote together, because Shem’s been on the road with those guys, a song called “This Is It.” It’s kind of a mish-mash, but it’s very fun and safe rock material. The older audiences will love it, but there might be some hits for younger people.

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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Rock Tenors perform Friday, May 9 and Saturday, May 10 at 8 p.m. To purchase tickets for Friday night’s LGBT Night, call ASO Group and Corporate Sales and 404-733-4848 or email asogroups@woodruffcenter.org.

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