Parkersburg South High School graduate bringing concert to Ohio University

Photo Provided
Luke Frazier

Photo Provided Luke Frazier

ATHENS, Ohio — Luke Frazier — an Ohio University alumnus and 2003 graduate of Parkersburg South High School– has created a new concert that’s being presented on Monday night at Ohio University.

“Broadway For The Holidays” will feature Broadway stars Mary Michael Patterson (“The Phantom of the Opera”) and Claybourne Elder (“Gossip Girl,” Broadway’s “Sunday in the Park”), in addition to Luke Hawkins, star tap dancer from “America’s Got Talent,” and Hilary Morrow (Birdland Jazz Club).

They will be joined by the Ohio University Symphony Orchestra and Chorus under the direction of Maestro Luke Frazier for an evening of holiday hits.

The concert celebrates the conclusion of Ohio University’s School of Music’s 100th anniversary and is part of OU’s Performing Arts Series.

Highlights of Monday’s classic seasonal songs include “Santa Baby,” “The Christmas Song,” “O Holy Night,” “Merry Christmas, Darling,” “River” and “Mele Kalikimaka.” The concert is directed by Kelly Crandall d’Amboise.

Photo Provided
Luke Frazier conducting the American Pops Orchestra.

Photo Provided Luke Frazier conducting the American Pops Orchestra.

There will be 200 performers on stage at a time during Monday’s concert in Athens, Frazier said. Besides featuring favorite holiday tunes, “Broadway For The Holidays” also will have Broadway tunes and tap dancing numbers, he said.

“It will be a big production,” Frazier said.

Frazier, 32, one of the nation’s youngest conductors of a major orchestra, is the founder and conductor of the Washington, D.C.-based American Pops Orchestra, dedicated to popular music and in the middle of its third season.

Frazier is a 2009 Ohio University graduate with a master’s in conducting. He received a bachelor’s degree in piano from West Virginia University in 2007.

Monday’s show in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium, 47 E. Union St. in Athens, begins at 7:30 p.m. For tickets and more information go to ohio.edu/performingarts/tickets.cfm or call 740-593-1780.

Photo Provided
Luke Frazier conducting the American Pops Orchestra.

Photo Provided Luke Frazier conducting the American Pops Orchestra.

Frazier has conducted for such luminaries as Angela Lansbury, Renee Fleming, Denyce Graves, Darren Criss, Lea Salonga, Liza Minnelli, Chita Rivera, Rita Moreno and Michael Feinstein. He has been featured on national PBS broadcasts and performed at the Kennedy Center.

Frazier has lived in the D.C. area since 2009 and has become part of the city’s musical fabric, having founded the National Broadway Chorus, serving as an artist-in-residence with Washington, D.C. Youth Orchestra, and completed two seasons as principal pops conductor of the Fairfax Symphony, according to a press release.

When Frazier made his New York City conducting debut at the all-star Edith Piaf Centennial Celebration at Town Hall in 2015, on the actual night of Piaf’s 100th birthday, the American Pops Orchestra was hailed for its “sumptuous lilt” by The New York Times.

Frazier has demonstrated his versatility and range by conducting in venues both grand and intimate, from Lincoln Center to Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center to the Rainbow Room, a press release states. Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch called Frazier “so talented, and sensitive to every nuance.”

Frazier founded the American Pops Orchestra in 2015, presenting all original programming. His commitment to the American Songbook is also evident through his involvement on the Board of the Great American Songbook Foundation.

Frazier addressed the National Symphony Orchestra’s “Summer Music Institute” students. He appeared as the keynote speaker for the National Society of Arts and Letters Award for Excellence in the Arts at the Kennedy Center and addressed the VSA, an international organization for the arts and disability.

Frazier lives in Washington, D.C., but noted he travels a lot, including frequent trips to New York City for musical performances.

He is the son of Brad and Debbie Frazier of Davisville.

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