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January 19, 2014

Switzer will be guest conductor for Norman Philharmonic

NORMAN — It’s not his normal playing field but legendary OU football coach Barry Switzer will lead a portion of today’s Norman Philharmonic Concert at 3 p.m. at the Nancy O’Brian Center for Performing Arts.

Switzer joked that that he was “very experienced,” with a baton, having previously performed with the OKC Philharmonic when his son was playing with them.

“I already made a fool of myself back then, so I might as well do it again. It’s all fun and for a good cause,” Switzer said Friday.

Although, practice does make perfect, as Switzer said, he plans to put in the hours before the big show today. Switzer also said he has always enjoyed classical music and has probably listened to more Rachmaninoff than any other coach around. Switzer’s son and wife both play classical music.

“My son could bench press a piano, but loved playing it,” he said.

It was a date in the 1950s that inspired his conducting choice, the theme from the movie “The Magnificent Seven.” Switzer said he went to see Arthur Fielder and the Boston Pops Orchestra, and the orchestra played a medley of every western on TV at the time like Bonanza.

“I told Dr. Z (Norman Philharmonic Director Richard Zielinski) that story, and he knew exactly what I should conduct.”

The show, “Classical Meets Jazz,” will include a variety of classical music as well as American music, such as work composed by Aaron Copland and a variety of jazz.

General Admission tickets for the show are $10 and are available at the door or at www.normanphilharmonic.com.

 

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