Contact: Royceann Friedman, 912.655.5100

Savannah, GA – The Savannah Philharmonic will showcase some of the most upbeat music from the orchestral repertoire featuring an All-American cast of composers on Friday, October 19 at 7:30pm in the spectacular setting of the Lucas Theatre for the Arts. Selections on offer during the “Celebrate America!” concert will include Gershwin’s An American in Paris, Porgy & Bess; Elmer Bernstein’s Theme from The Magnificent Seven; Leonard Bernstein’s On the Town, Westside Story; and many more classic American favorites.

“Our September 11th Patriot’s Day concert was so appreciated last year that we decided this year we must include a concert of the best of American composers; a kind of “American Classical Pops”, if you will,” says Peter Shannon, conductor and artistic director of the Savannah Philharmonic. “This one is packed to the brim with old favorites: music from West Side Story and On the Town, Gershwin’s An American in Paris, and Rogers and Hammerstein’s The Sound of Music. Throw in some Sousa marches and the theme tune from The Magnificent Seven,” raves Shannon, “and I’d say that’s about as American as you can get! See you there!”

The Philharmonic is thrilled to announce that soloists Ann Marie McPhail and Joshua Carswell, co-winners of the 2012 American Traditions Competition, will perform with the orchestra at the “CelebrateAmerica!” concert. Each year the American Traditions Competition brings world class vocalists to Savannah to compete for medals and cash prizes while performing the works of classic American composers, so McPhail’s and Carswell’s participation in the Philharmonic’s concert is especially fitting.

Atlanta-born Ann Marie McPhail is one of the region’s most seasoned performers and is quickly establishing herself as a versatile lyric soprano in the US. She completed her undergraduate degree at ClarkAtlantaUniversityand received a Masters in Voice Performance from GeorgiaStateUniversity. Ms. McPhail made her career debut with the Houston Ebony Opera where she performed the role of the Countess in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro. Besides her victory at the American Traditions Competition, her accolades include first place winner of the Rose-Palmai Tenser Vocal Competition and “Diva Goddess” at the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, Closing Ceremonies. Ms. McPhail’s credits include onstage singer in Tyler Perry’s movie For Colored Girls, and “Strawberry Woman” in the Atlanta Opera’s 2011 production of Gershwin’s famed Porgy and Bess, for which she received mention in Opera News.

Ms. McPhail has served as an artist affiliate atAgnesScottCollegeand voice instructor for the Boys and Girls Choir of Harlem. She has sung with Capital City Opera, San Francisco Opera, Paris Comique Opera, Atlanta Opera, Houston Ebony Opera, Opera Ebony, Macon Symphony Orchestra, Atlanta Chamber Players and the Atlanta Singers. This fall she will perform several concerts inFloridaand throughout theAtlantaarea. She will make her Spivey Hall debut with the Atlanta Chamber Players in March 2013.

Josh Carswell is an accomplished vocalist and frequent performer of opera, oratorio, musical theater and commercial music. A native ofNorth Carolina, Mr. Carswell graduated from Elon Universityin 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts in Vocal Performance, garnering the university’s prestigious Presser Music Scholar award. He has performed in Carnegie Hall’s Isaac Stern Auditorium as a guest soloist with the Annie Moses Band and the New American Choir and Orchestra, and has made appearances with the Greensboro Opera and Symphony, as well as the North Carolina Symphony. His recent roles include Ferrando in the production of Mozart’s Cosi Fan Tutte (American Singers’ Opera Project), Rinuccio in Puccini’s Gianni Schicci (Elon), and “Generations Soloist” in Schwartz’s Children of Eden (Elon).

Mr. Carswell’s exceptional interpretive skill has garnered national attention. In addition to being the 2012 Grand Prize co-winner of the American Traditions Competition, he is a winner of state and regional levels of NATS for Classical and Musical Theatre. A studio musician, Mr. Carswell resides inNashville,Tennesseewhere he also teaches voice. He is currently touring with the Top 10 Billboard Artist, Annie Moses Band, and is recording his debut album for release in spring 2013.

Concert tickets are available for purchase at or by calling the box office at 912.525-5050. Ticket prices are $16 – $55 and $65 for limited premium seating. Subscription packages are also available. Please call the Savannah Box Office at 912.525.5050 for more information.

The Savannah Philharmonic Orchestra (SPO) is a professional orchestra presenting a full range of concerts each season (September to May) from classics to pops. The Savannah Philharmonic Chorus is a community-based auditioned ensemble that performs regularly with the orchestra in an oratorio and opera setting, as well as performing a wide range of music from a cappella, baroque to rock and pop standards. Both are 501©3 nonprofit organizations.

The SPO’s mission is to provide the highest level of musical performances and educational programs featuring the highest caliber of professional musicians, a volunteer chorus and internationally acclaimed soloists. The SPO aims to exhilarate, educate and enrich a large and diverse audience in the greater Savannah community. For more information please visit