PHILADELPHIA—Saying the live performance will be a dream come true following decades of music study, members of the Philadelphia Orchestra announced Wednesday that they simply cannot wait for their upcoming collaboration with John Mellencamp. “I’ve practiced the viola 10 hours a day for the past 25 years, received an education at the New England Conservatory, and partaken in three artist residencies, so the opportunity to serve as accompaniment to members of John Mellencamp’s touring band is truly a great honor,” said associate principal violist Paul Chiu, adding that playing the same simple melody as the rest of the string section and the entire woodwind section during the chorus of “Hurts So Good” would be a “feather in the cap” of his distinguished classical music career. “To repeat the same sequence of eight notes over and over again while staring at the back of John Mellencamp’s head as amplified guitars and boisterous audience members drown out most of the sound—I can’t think of a greater privilege than that. The only thing better would be playing with Jon Bon Jovi, but I’m not getting my hopes up.” At press time, Chiu had sequestered himself in a practice space for the day to rehearse his part for the song “R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.”

Advertisement