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God, I Hope I Get It: As Hamlisch Takes Over DSO's Pops, A Talent Search at Arts Magnet

Marvin Hamlisch has his EGOT. That's Emmys (four of 'em), Grammys (four), Oscars (three) and a Tony. The composer of A Chorus Line and the film score for The Way We Were also has a Pulitzer Prize and three Golden Globes. So he's got a PEGOT. (That that, Tracy Jordan.)

Hamlisch was in town yesterday to do press and to preview his upcoming series of concerts with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, for which he's the new principal pops conductor for the next two seasons. He's been the pops daddy with the Pittsburgh, Milwaukee, San Diego and Seattle symphony orchestras too. At a champagne-and-tortilla-soup soiree in the lobby of the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, Hamlisch sat at the Steinway grand and played a little Gershwin, a bit of Richard Rodgers and some Hamlisch.

By request from someone in the crowd: "Through the Eyes of Love," the theme he wrote for the movie Ice Castles. "I'm starting to feel like this is a telethon and we'll be here till 2 a.m.," Hamlisch joked as the requests rolled in. But then, it was on to the news portion of the program:

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Hamlisch, 66, opens the DSO Pops Series August 27-29 with a tribute to George Gershwin. He'll return December 2-4 to headline DSO's Christmas Pops concert. He'll be back May 27-28 to lead the orchestra in the music of Irving Berlin. Local singers will be hired for each of those gigs. Hamlisch said auditions for vocalists will be held this month at Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. "We're always looking for new talent," he said. (He knows from talent: In the 1960s his first Broadway job was as rehearsal pianist for Barbra Streisand in Funny Girl.)

The composer has had a long relationship with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He composed and performed the world premiere of his symphonic work Anatomy of Peace for the 1989 grand opening of the Meyerson. He reprised the piece in 2009 at the hall's 20th anniversary.

Single tickets have just gone on sale this week for the entire Destination DSO season, which includes all the classical and pops concerts. Visit Dallas Symphony for more info and ticket prices, or call 214-692-0203.

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