Photos: Thumbnail - Scott Sowinski, Banner above - Charissa Armon

Take a trip with the Bijou Orchestra, opening its 8th season with the program “Ten Thousand Dreams” on October 9 at 8pm and October 10 at 2pm at the State Theatre in Bay City (913 Washington). 

Be swept along on this musical journey through the various kinds of entertainment offered at the little theater, a favorite of Bay Citians for more than a century. The concert features music from the various periods of the theater’s operations:  from its creation as a vaudeville theater in 1908 as the Bijou Theatre; to its change of hands and name to Orpheum in 1922; to its 1930 remodeling as a film-only venue called Bay. During the 1950s, the theater was modernized with a new marquee and yet another new name, the State.

The concert begins with original salon arrangements of classical favorites that would have been heard as an accompaniment to both theatrical works and early silent films. Ragtime and the "parlor" song also characterize this period. The shift is toward Tin Pan Alley and swing in the 1920s when the Bijou became the Orpheum with Prohibition and flapper sexuality serving as constant musical themes. The 1930s brought remodeling and a new style of sound film that brought us the first movie musicals. The romantic music of the Silver Screen introduced many standards still popular today. The modern era began with the renaming to the State in the 1950s.

Nine vocal soloists will join The Bijou for the show. Bob Bloenk, Scott Sowinski and Charissa Armon are familiar to Bijou audiences from last year’s "Brother, Can You Spare a Dime." They will be joined by the six members of "Ah Tempo!" a male sextet that is a part of the Saginaw Choral Society.

The Bay County Historical Society  will host a preview lecture at its "Second Saturday" Series on Saturday, October 9 at 1pm in the museum (321 Washington, Bay City). The society will also host a reception following the concert at the museum, where all exhibits will be open and the WPA film will be shown again. Admission to the reception is free to concert ticket holders.

This concert is sponsored by a gift from Summit Printing of Bay City. The orchestra is also supported in part by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs and the Bay Area Community Foundation. Major corporate sponsors include, Dow Corning, and the Dow Chemical Company Foundation.

Tickets for the concert are $10, $20, $25 and $30. For more information call the box office (989) 892-4200 or visit Tickets will also be available at the door.