The concert starts early enough that you're on your own by 9:30 or so, which means you have time to move on to the next party before the ball drops at midnight - even if that means you're only going home to watch it drop on TV.
The worst thing about the Philharmonic's annual New Year's Eve concert is that it will be the last for Long Island's top classical music ensemble, not just for this year, obviously, but for months to come. So here's your chance to support culture on Long Island: Help sell out Tilles Center on New Year's Eve.
That's what maestro David Stewart Wiley says he wants for Christmas. "I look forward to conducting this program each year," he says, "but it's particularly vital now that Long Islanders who love this music - and need a special evening out - come and celebrate some great American music while supporting Long Island's professional orchestra . . . Together, we will not just survive but thrive."
ALL IT TAKES IS MONEY
Already, fortunes have improved for the cash-strapped Philharmonic, says board president Jack Russell. He says the New Year's Eve concert "is headed for a sellout for the third year in a row. That shows we're still alive." Moreover, Russell says, Long Islanders are "starting to step up to the plate" with some contributors - individual and corporate - increasing their support since the Philharmonic announced last month that it would forgo the 2010-11 subscription season to minimize its debts. But the Philharmonic plans to play its free summer parks concerts with the Islip Arts Council at Heckscher State Park, as well as Huntington's Heckscher Park and the Brookhaven Amphitheater in Farmingville. "We're also talking to Nassau County about a location," Russell says.
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'AULD LANG SYNE'
Meanwhile, the Philharmonic is rehearsing for its "Greatest Hits of Broadway" concert New Year's Eve. Selections include "All I Ask of You" from "Phantom of the Opera," "Bring Him Home" from "Les Misérables," "My Favorite Things" from "The Sound of Music," "All That Jazz" from "Chicago," "Some Enchanted Evening" from "South Pacific," "Popular" from "Wicked," plus selections from "Mamma Mia!," "A Chorus Line," "Jersey Boys," "Mary Poppins," "Annie Get Your Gun," "The King and I," "Carousel," "Evita," "Cats" and "Aspects of Love."
Joining Wiley and the orchestra are Broadway performers Ron Bohmer, currently in "A Little Night Music"; Rosena Hill, who recently appeared in "Come Fly Away"; Sarah Pfisterer, who played the role of Christine in "Phantom" more than 1,000 times, and Edward Watts, now in "The Fantasticks."
Following the show tunes, the Philharmonic will conclude with a sing-along "Auld Lang Syne."
WHAT Long Island Philharmonic's "The Greatest Hits of Broadway" New Year's Eve concert
INFO $55 to $85; liphilharmonic .org, 631-293-2222