Steve Pollack

Steve has performed baritone and tenor roles with opera and theater companies such as the Walnut Street Theater, Candlelight Theater, Commonwealth Opera, Lancaster Opera, Philadelphia Concert Opera, and many others in the greater New York and Philadelphia areas. He has performed in operatic roles such as Tonio in Pagliacci, Germont in La Traviata, The Count in The Marriage of Figaro, Aeneas in Dido and Aeneas, and Rigoletto in Rigoletto. Steven has also performed leading roles in music theater, including shows such as Guys & Dolls, The Music Man, Mack & Mabel, Show Boat, The Merry Widow, and Company. As a director, he has been involved in many productions, such as Hansel & Gretel, Orpheus in the Underworld, The Barber of Seville, Tosca, Die Federmaus, Me and My Girl, A Year With Frog and Toad, and many others.

Seminar Topics from Steve Pollack:

All seminars are multimedia programs that include live, recorded and video entertainment and examples.

Music and The Brain (1 to 4 sessions)
How music affects us – Physically, Emotionally, Cognitively and Spiritually

The History of Conspiracy Theories (1 Session)
How did the idea “Conspiracy Theory” start
Famous conspiracy theories through history
Why do people believe conspiracy theories

Music and Sound in the Movies (5 to 7 Sessions)
The history of the development of synchronized sound in films
From silent films and theater music to music on film
Movie score writing and movie song writing

The History of the Piano
How the piano developed, from ancient Greece to the present
The In-Betweeners

Music from the Big Bands to Rock and Roll (music of the 1930s, 40s and 50s, 6 to 10 sessions)
How music evolved from the decline of the Big Bands to Elvis, Buddy Holly and Eddie Valenz
A look at The origins or swing/jazz big band music from ragtime and gospel and its decline
The rise of R&B and Bebop
Latin music and the importance of Latin Rhythm to all of American Pop
DooWop and the acapella groups
Country music – Hank Williams and the early country greats – their roots and influence
Folk music of the 40s and 50s – Woodie Guthrie, Pete Seeger, The Searchers and others
Mitch Miller and producers of the early 1950s
The great male & female pop stars of the 1950s, and why they disappeared when Elvis came around – Eddie Fisher, Joni JamesThe rise of Rock & Roll – Chuck Berry, Fats Domino, Bo Diddley, Elvis and others

Rodgers and Hart vs Rodgers and Hammerstein (4 Sessions)
The lives of these three great lyricists/composers
Their differing styles of writing
Their work, successes and legacies
Includes live performance and multi-media lecture

The history of Art Song/tradition of classical song in the Romantic and Post-Romantic periods (6 to 8 Sessions)
A look at the composers, the music and the special performance requirements demanded
Each week will be dedicated to songs of a specific country or language:
German – Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Wolf, Weill and Strauss
Robert Schumann – Dichterliebe and Liderkreis
French – Berlioz, Massenet, Faure, Duparc, Debussy, Ravel and Poulenc
Spanish – Sor, Valverde, de Falla, Granados and Rodrigo
Italian – Donizetti, Bellini, Verdi, Tosti, Leoncavallo, Respighi, and Castelnuovo-Tedesco
Eastern European/Russian – Dvorak, Liszt, Borodin, Mussorgsky, Rachmaninov and Prokofiev
English – Delius, Vaughn Williams, Quilter, Britten and Finzi
American – Copland, Beach, Barber, Niles, Ives and Rorem
Each weekly program includes live performance plus lecture information

Three of the most famous unknown songwriters in American History (3 Sessions)
The lives and music of Harry Warren, Chester Babcock and Dmitri Tiomkin
These songwriters have more hits, more Oscars and more awards than anyone else in history, yet their names are not very well known

American Operetta – the road to Show Boat (Minimum 4 Sessions)
How American Operetta rose from European origins

The music of Victor Herbert, George M Cohan, Sigmund Romberg and Rudolf Friml and the popularity of the waltz
The rise of ragtime from Minstrel Shows, and how jazz found its way into American culture
Florenz Ziegfeld, the Folies Bergere and the Ziegfeld Girls

Why Jerome Kern and Gershwin were so important in bringing jazz to the American mainstream and why Show Boat is so pivotal to American Musical Theater history

The History and Evolution of Rap (1-3 sessions)
Development of Rap from Hip Hop
What is Rap/Hip Hop
The elements of Hip Hop
Emceeing
Breakdancing
Graffiti
Rap

Music and Technology (6-8 sessions)
How technology, culture and politics have affected music throughout history
The evolution of instruments (water-pipe organ, piano, saxophone, oboe etc.)
The evolution of musical style as affected by new developments in technology
How war influences music and technology

The Wonderful Music of Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald (1-2 sessions)
A look at the lives and careers of the famous duo
Their music presented in recordings and live performance

The Real Lili Marlene (1 session)
How the famous song came about during WWI as a German song
Why the song changed from a favorite of the Germans in WWII to the “call to soldiers” of the American, British, Russian and French armies, inspiring them as they defeated the Germans

Gilbert and Sullivan and The Marx Brothers (4 sessions)
The lives, partnership and shows of William Gilbert, Arthur Sullivan and Richard D’Oyley Carte
The influence of Gilbert and Sullivan on Broadway and the Movies

The Marx Brothers, Gershwin, Berlin, Porter, Harburg, Harnick and others (Gilbert Sullivan in the Wizard of Oz, Finnian’s Rainbow and other examples)

The Masters to Gershwin – Why Gershwin is so Important (6 to 8 sessions)
Music History from 1820 to Gershwin, focusing on:
The French from Berlioz to Ravel
The Germans from Beethoven to Strauss
The Russians from Glinka to Rachmaninoff

How Gershwin incorporated the music of the great composers with American influences of Latin and Jazz music to create a new American musical legacy
Why Gershwin may be one of the 3 or 4 most important composers of the 20th century.

Stephen Sondheim Sitting on the shoulders of Oscar Hammerstein (2 sessions)
A look at the relationship between Steven Sondheim and Oscar Hammerstein
Musical examples of Sondheim’s music, especially pieces related to the topic

Quincy Jones His life and music (1 Session)
The life and music of Quincy Jones, who might be the most important music producer since 1950
History of his jazz development, life in Europe and return to America and his relationships with Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and the movies

The Life and Music of Tony Bennett (1 session)
The great story of Tony Bennett’s life
History of his jazz development, life in Europe and return to America and his relationships with Frank Sinatra, Michael Jackson and the movies

The Life and Music of Nat King Cole (1 session)
Nat King Cole history – Capitol Records and “The House That Nat Built”
Live and multi-media musical samples
Eddie Fisher and Joni James King & Queen of the 1950s (2 sessions – or individual programs)
The lives of the two most successful singers of the 1950s – over 100 million records sold – EACH!
Musical samples with multi-media presentation

Leonard Bernstein – A Life in Music (minimum 4 sessions)
An overview of Bernstein’s life, music and legacy
· His life story
· Bernstein as musician, teacher and conductor
Bernstein – Musical Theater and Opera
Bernstein – The Classical Works

The Musical Comedians (3 Sessions)
The role of parody and comedy in music
Famous comics of music – Allan Sherman, Ernie Kovacs, Steve Allen, Tom Lehrer, Spike Jones, PDQ Bach, Weird Al Yankovic and many more
Why we love them

Traditions of Jewish Music (Minimum 4 Sessions)
A look at the musical traditions in Jewish music from ancient times to the present
The role and history of music in Jewish liturgical culture
The influence of Jewish music on other cultures and vice-versa
The cantorial role and traditions
Jewish secular music
The Ashkenazy, Sephardic and Mizrahi cultures and their music

Disney (1 to 4 sessions)
The music of Disney from Snow White to the present
The songwriters and the famous performers
The Oscar winning music and the music that has become classic in our lifetime
The inspiration of the Disney ideas to others; the popularity and growth of animated musicals

Ballroom Dancing
Mo Better Entertainment
PO Box 1141 North Wales, PA. 19454
Phone: 267-263-2276
E-mail: info@mobetter-entertainment.com