Lake Charles Symphony, guest performers to host Elton John tribute

By By Cliff Seiber / American Press

The Lake Charles Symphony, along with guest performers, will mine Elton John’s extensive body of work in its Summer Pops Concert

at 7 p.m. Saturday, July 13, in the Lake Charles Civic Center coliseum. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

Vocalist Jean Meilleur and pianist John Regan will headline the program, which will include the four-piece band Madmen across

the Water and a 40-member chorus led by Chris Miller, Barbe High School choral director.

Meilleur and Regan are part of the London, Ontario-based Jeans ’n Classics organization, created by Peter Brennan.

“Our audience can expect a true tribute performance, not an imitation of an Elton John performance. We don’t pretend we’re

him. We don’t dress up with a duck-bill cap or other Elton John costumes,” Meilleur said. “We provide an interpretation of

his music. We are a rock band, but we don’t overpower the orchestra. I think that is why our shows can be very moving.”

Meilleur said he would hazard a guess

as to how many performances he has given with Jeans ’n Classics, “as I

wouldn’t hazard

a guess as to how many beers I’ve had. But I will say I have

enjoyed every one of them, just as I have enjoyed every beer.”

He does little else but work with Jeans

’n Classics during the orchestra season, though he sometimes does other

types of performances.

“Jean hails from Madison, Wisconsin,” reads the website for Jeans ’n Classics. “He was born and remains a Green Bay Packer

fanatic! He moved to Detroit, Michigan at a young age. Living in the Motor City helped shape his penchant for the Motown,

Soul and R ‘n B sounds of the early seventies. Jean is a prolific songwriter. ...

“It’s a privilege to share the stage

with a symphony orchestra, Peter Brennan’s superb arrangements and a

flawless band,”

Meilleur is quoted as saying on the website. “To have the

opportunity to sing some of the greatest popular music of our time,

in my own voice, is a rush beyond compare.”

“John Regan has been part of the Jeans ‘n Classics Band for almost two decades. John mixes classical training with an ear

for the pop and rock music of the last six decades,” reads the website.

“Since joining Jeans ‘n Classics, he has played with orchestras across North America, including the Detroit Symphony, the

Colorado Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, the Ft. Worth Symphony, the Cincinnati Pops and the Cleveland Pops Orchestra,

to name a few.”

If You Go

• The concert will be at 7 p.m. Saturday in the Lake Charles Civic Center coliseum. Doors will open at 6:30 p.m.

For tickets, call 433-1611 or visit The symphony office is in the Central School Arts and Humanities Center,

809 Kirby St.

Pizza, sodas and adult beverages will be available.

Premium riser seats are $25, and regular riser seats are $20. Cost for students is $10. A reserved table of eight is $300;

a premium table is $1,000.