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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

The Performance That May Make You Laugh At The San Antonio Symphony

The San Antonio Symphony tackles a difficult series of works this weekend, but if you go, you might end up laughing at their efforts. That's because they're doing cartoon music. 

“The first thing you know it from that theme…” (Hit "Listen" above to hear more)

Conductor George Daugherty is talking about the Merrie Melodies theme from back in the old Bugs Bunny cartoon days.

“We are actually carrying the real Warner Brothers slide guitar with us.  The one that was used in the 1930s. And when it does that slide (sound of slide guitar leading into theme song) and that theme kicks in, every audience everywhere spontaneously bursts into applause.”

Daugherty grew up with the Bugs Bunny cartoons, then re-discovered them as an adult. He realized they were brilliant pieces of music.

“And I had this great desire to do them in concert with symphony orchestras. But I immediately discovered that to do this material in concert you would have to show the cartoons.”

He figured out a way to project them above symphonies, and with a plan of doing it for one year, set his course.

“And here were are twenty-five years later. We’ve performed it for over three million people worldwide with over a hundred and fifty symphony orchestras, and we’re still goin’ at it" he laughed.

It’s the San Antonio Symphony as you don’t really get to see it too often. 

“Bugs and Elmer dance ballet in tu-tus and point shoes. They sing Rossini, they sing Wagner. We always joke that normally it takes four nights and twenty-seven hours to see the Ring Cycle. And here we can do it in six minutes and thirty seconds.”

There are two performances only, Friday and Saturday nights.

“That’s all, folks!”

We've more here.  

Learn more about George Daugherty here


Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii