Midwest Young Artists 7th Annual Benefit | Concert preview
Frasier star and former pupil David Hyde Pierce pops in to help Allan Dennis raise money for his Midwest Young Artists.
Sometimes opportunity means being in the right hallway at the right time. Midwest Young Artists founder and executive director Allan Dennis bumped into former student David Hyde Pierce backstage at Ravinia last summer. It led to a hug, and then to the Tony- and Emmy-winning actor agreeing to host the music school’s annual benefit.
“I asked him to speak and, true to his caring and giving nature, he agreed,” Dennis tells us via e-mail. The good news is that Pierce’s notable elocution skills will not be all he shares on stage. Joined by MYA’s VX Studio Vocal Ensemble, the actor-cum-pianist is set to revive his role as Sir Robin from Spamalot, performing “You Won’t Succeed on Broadway.”
Dennis, beloved conductor of MYA’s Concert and Symphony Orchestras, knew there was something unique about Pierce from his days at Saratoga Springs High School, in New York. “I remember his smirk when we were rehearsing Beethoven and I missed a tempo. He never had to say anything. He just looked at me, ” he recalls.
Pierce’s talent and celebrity will help garner support for MYA’s longtime commitment to financial aid for underserved children in its eight youth orchestras, four choral ensembles, wind symphony, jazz program and 60 chamber ensembles. When asked what he hopes donors will take away from the event, the convivial conductor says, “I hope they see David and MYA as related, and are willing to support creativity.”