Vintage clothing and vintage music, what more could make a memory complete? The Anderson Symphony Orchestra will team theater, vocals and sets to create a unique experience Feb. 18.

A group of five vocalists and dramatists, Five by Design, joins the orchestra to create a two-hour presentation of music from the 1940s.

“It looks at the warriors between 1942 and ’45,” said Alton Accola, artist representative and narrator for the group. “It’s a theater piece. It will be songs that many people most certainly will remember when radio was the focal point of entertainment.”

Some songs that people young and old may recognize include the show’s opening, “Moonlight in Vermont,” or “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy,” and “I’ve Got a Gal In Kalamazoo,” Accola said.

The show is broken into several sections, he said. There will be songs from commercial and theme songs from radio shows that people will recognize, such as for “The Lone Ranger,” and a Pepsi commercial back when it was a nickel.

Another section features music from soap operas of that era, Accola said. Another portion features film, radio and other personalities including singing divas.

“Americans and people that went through that period of time appreciate that period,” Accola said. “Those that didn’t live through it, they’ll quickly get to see how all the music supported the war.”

And one detail many may not notice is the fashion, he added.

“We have about 20 fashion changes. I like to call them fashion instead of costumes. The group has scoured shops and all the costumes from the hats to accessories are original vintage,” Accola said.

People will get to hear and see the drama acted out with the small minimized sets that are used stage right and left, Accola added.

“With a symphony orchestra in back of you, it’s tough to have sets,” he said.

The five Minneapolis-based vocalists now tour throughout the United States and Canada. They’ve had more than 350 performances with 100 of the nation’s leading symphony orchestras.

Baby boomers and the generation before them are nostalgic, said George Vinson, executive director of the ASO. Studies show there’s a wider interest in music, fashion and anything from the past.

“They take great pleasure in doing anything that is from the past, like riding in an old car, watching old films, or listening to an old pipe organ,” Vinson said of the two generations.

Conductor Richard Sowers looked for a way to connect the orchestra to his interests and that’s when Five by Design’s production caught his eye.

“We don’t do a lot of pops, but this is pops,” Vinson said. Usually the ASO’s summer park concerts and Christmas concert feature popular music.

Vinson added that people can go to www.fivebydesign.com and see a compilation of video clips that give them an idea of the energy and content of the show.

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