LEHI — Jenny Oaks Baker will perform with the Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra at Thanksgiving Point in a concert featuring her newest album, "Classic: The Rock Album," which, according to Baker, is ironically her most classical album.
She will be playing music arranged by Kurt Bestor and consisting of classic rock tunes with the orchestra backing her up.
"This is really not a new approach for me," Baker told the Deseret News. "I am a classically trained violinist, and this is a classic rock album — with orchestra. It's really quite up my musical alley."
Many of the songs are quite spiritual, she said: "Stairway to Heaven" is all about putting aside the materialism of the world, and "Scarborough Fair" is about regaining lost love. The Liverpool Suite features Beatles hits such as "Eleanor Rigby," which is about a call to the less fortunate, and "Sweet Child of Mine," which makes Baker think of her own four children.
"These are beautifully uplifting and joyous songs that I really believe everyone will love listening to and experiencing live," she said.
Baker said Bestor spent nearly a year thinking about which classic rock tunes would work best.
"He was brilliant in his song choice and musical treatment," she said. "These are songs that have stood the test of time and have done so because they have great melodies, harmonies and rhythms.
"We were also very careful to only choose songs that have completely appropriate lyrics. I didn't want the music to have any kind of connection to anything vulgar.
"He did an absolutely masterful job of putting a classical spin on some of the greatest classic rock melodies of all time. The rock feel comes from the energy of the strings instead of just a typical drum kit," she said.
Bestor said it was a little daunting to strip away the traditional rock drums, guitar and bass but that the rhythmic pulse still came through wonderfully in the orchestra.
"And, of course, the amazing melodies by such legends as McCartney and Lennon, Simon and Garfunkel, Plant and Page and Townshend definitely shine in Jenny’s capable hands," Bestor said.
"The music on the album and for the show is incredibly challenging," Baker said. "You have to be able to play all the difficult passages and be comfortable enough to be able to really get into the groove of the music."
"Classic: The Rock Album" is Baker's 12th album. Baker has been nominated for a Grammy Award and has been No. 1 on the Billboard charts.1 comment on this story
The Timpanogos Symphony Orchestra has been learning and rehearsing the song tracks on the new album for several months.
If you go ...
What: Jenny Oaks Baker/Timpanogos Symphony, CD release concert
Where: Thanksgiving Point Show Barn, 3003 N. Thanksgiving Way, Lehi
When: 7:30 p.m., Friday, April 11
Sharon Haddock is a professional writer with more than 35 years' experience, 17 at the Deseret News. Her personal blog is at sharonhaddock.blogspot.com.