For the second year in a row, Frisco Association for the Arts made Valentine’s Day into an evening to remember with some world-class entertainment. The 2019 Red Carpet Concert Series opened with “A Night of Romance”, featuring David Osborne, a pianist known as “America’s #1 Romantic Pianist” and featured artist at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.
Lincoln Experience Center was again the host venue for the concert, which was preceded by the reception in an area decorated with stunning art by Frisco artist Leticia Herrera. She shared,
I felt very honored to have been part of this beautiful event, and very grateful to everybody that put their time and heart to make this happen! I will remember this magical night forever!
Once the guests were seated, the evening was kicked off by Otis Gray from Steinway & Sons with a 3-minute promotional video about the Spirio series of player pianos, which were also featured in the Steinway event last November.
A Medley of Melodies
David opened the show with what he called a “medley” – it started with the opening bars of Coldplay’s ‘Clocks’, and included many other popular classics, from ‘Your Song’ to ‘All by Myself’, not forgetting the date-appropriate ‘My Funny Valentine’. Throughout the evening, David alternated the music with carefully chosen stories from his illustrious career, including stories about some of his 65 performances for US presidents from Carter to George W. Bush.
Next up, David brought the Steinway to life with ‘Lady in Red’ by Chris de Burgh, which he dedicated to the hostess of the evening, Tammy Meinershagen, the executive director of Frisco Arts.
With wine flowing throughout, and smartphones working overtime to preserve the moments, it was clear that the event is uniquely Frisco, not unlike a house party, where about a hundred or so good friends gathered around two pianos.
David is the International Steinway Artist and he made sure to let everyone knew how much he appreciated his partnership with the storied brand. “In the world of pianos,” he said, “there’s Steinway and then there’s everyone else.” He praised the piano he was playing by calling it “delicious”.
He then melted the hearts in the audience with a medley of Frank Sinatra songs, starting with ‘All the Way’, and including ‘Witchcraft’, ‘The Way You Look Tonight’, ‘Strangers in the Night’, and ending with ‘You Make Me Feel So Young’.
Halfway through the Sinatra medley, the buzz came through the crowd, who realized that David is being “accompanied” by the other Steinway at the front of the room, the Spirio player piano.
In fact, Otis was using his iPad to play David’s own recordings on the Spirio, while the live David took care of solos, glissandos, and various other bravuras. The “two” of them played another Rat Pack classic, “Fly Me to the Moon”, which the crowd awarded with thunderous applause.
Time was getting short, but David wanted to give the audience one last treat, something he called the “Texas Quilt”. He was asking for suggestions about love songs he could weave together into a “quilt”, a medley he said he normally spreads over the course of an hour. “Everybody gets a small square”, he said.
And indeed, for the next ten minutes or so, he created a musical quilt from the requests he got, going from ‘All I Ask of You’ to ‘The Chariots of Fire’, from ‘The Piano Man’ to ‘My Favorite Things’ and many others, adding a few choices of his own. Finishing the quilt with ‘America the Beautiful’, and ‘Battle Hymn of the Republic’ brought the audience to tears and on its feet for a big standing ovation at the end.
A Step Closer to the Future of Performing Arts in Frisco
After the show, we caught up with John Keating, Deputy Mayor Pro Tem who thought the concert was incredible and powerful:
Tammy Meinershagen has pulled it off and presented a world-class performance. Without a performance center, making do with what we have, she knocked it out of the park, but at the same time reminding us why we need a performing arts center. When we all come to an evening like this together, it reminds us of what we can do as a city, as a community, and as people who love and support the arts. It’s an exciting time in Frisco, and events like this get us one step closer.
Former Mayor Mike Simpson was also full of praise for the evening, echoing the sentiments about a performing arts center:
This just shows how many people really love the arts, how many people want the arts hall built. It’s a long journey, with a lot of people involved in it, but it’s getting closer and closer. All the people that are making it happen are fantastic, and we’ll make it happen one day soon.
The 2019 Red Carpet Series
The next event in the 2019 Red Carpet Concert Series is on May 1, with the title “Rodgers and Hammerstein Special”, with featured guest Jonathan Eaton, Director of the UNT Opera Studies program.
It will undoubtedly be another sold-out, world-class evening of arts and entertainment in Frisco, so be sure to get your ticket early (they go on sale March 1), and remember that Frisco Arts Members get a discount – click here to join!