• NYC police officer made famous after Sept. 11 attacks joins symphony Saturday, March 20
At 8 p.m., Saturday, March 20, at the Coronado Theatre, the Rockford Symphony Orchestra will present the final concert in its Pops series, featuring special guest artist/tenor Daniel Rodriguez.
Rodriguez first began to explore the world of music back in Brooklyn, in a theater arts class in junior high, taught by a Julliard graduate who started him dreaming of a singing career. He worked hard at it with enough success that he made his concert debut at age 17, in Carnegie Halls Weill Recital Hallsinging baritone.
However, Rodriguez felt compelled to follow what seemed a more dependable career path at the time. So, after high school, he went to the New York Police Department while continuing to work at developing his voice, but in its proper rangetenor.
As an official singer of the New York Police Department, Rodriguez was called to the spotlight on that difficult day when the nation, even the world, saw the collapse of the Twin Towers in New York City, and as a police representative, he came forward to sing the traditional God Bless America and the National Anthem, a cappella, with a resonance and deep-felt intensity that reached more hearts than we can begin to count. The public clamored to hear the young man againand again and again.
Since then, he has been on an upward spiral of recording sessions, concert appearances, and now intensive training with the Young Artists Program of the Washington Opera, at the invitation of another fine tenor, Placido Domingo.
Heeding the classic advice to hang on to that day job, Rodriguez is currently on leave from the Police Department, should he find that he wants to return there, but for the time being, he describes his well-deserved musical career as a dream come true.
The program, directed by Maestro Steven Larsen, will be a classic assortment of patriotic songs, sentimental Broadway memories, Irish favorites, a couple of Spanish tunes (to honor Rodriguezs Puerto Rican roots) and then some beloved opera arias (Verdi, Puccini) before closing with, of course, God Bless America.
The concert is sponsored by SwedishAmerican Health System.
Tickets ($48, $38, $28, $20 student) can be purchased by contacting the RSO between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at 711 N. Main St., by phone at 965-0049, or online at www.rockfordsymphony.com. For ticket info the day of the event, contact the Centre Events box office at 968-5222.