Styx's Tommy Shaw Returns To The Charts With Collaboration

Tommy Shaw

(Skye) Sing For The Day!, the classical-music-meets-classic-rock collaboration between the Contemporary Youth Orchestra (conducted by founder Liza Grossman) and Styx frontman Tommy Shaw, has entered multiple Billboard charts following its June 29th release in Blu-Ray, CD, and digital formats via Eagle Rock Entertainment.

The audio version entered the Billboard Classical Albums chart at #5, the Classical Crossover Albums chart at #5, and the Rock Albums chart at #49. The video version entered the Music Video Sales chart at #8, and the Top DVD Music Videos chart at #6. It jumped to #2 in its second week on the Top DVD Music Video chart.

"I've gotten used to being part of the Classic Rock family of bands," explains Shaw, "but the news of debuting at #5 on the 'Classical Albums' chart is something I never anticipated! It was a magical evening of music I'll never forget. Sing For The Day! is a retrospective look at some of my favorite songs I've written and co-written, performed with Contemporary Youth Orchestra, now remixed in glorious 5.1, and it takes them all to a higher place I'd never imagined. It was truly a night to remember."

Says Grossman of this accomplishment, "Working with Tommy and guitarist/musical director Will Evankovich has been just as incredible as one can imagine. CYO being recognized on the Billboard charts really validates our belief that providing quality music education can play a massive role in the lives of children."

Filmed before an enthusiastic audience at the intimate Waetjen Auditorium in Cleveland, Sing For The Day! presented unique versions of such classics as "Blue Collar Man," "Girls With Guns," and "Too Much Time On My Hands." Under the direction of principal conductor / founder Grossman, with accompaniment by guitarist/musical director Evankovich, the 115-piece Cleveland-based Contemporary Youth Orchestra blended seamlessly with Shaw, who wielded a mandolin and an acoustic and electric guitar, to create a one-of-a-kind experience. The songs of Styx / Tommy Shaw / Damn Yankees were infused with the energy of the finest high-school-aged musicians in Ohio, as evidenced by such performances as the epic duel between Shaw's guitar licks and a prodigious young violinist / CYO alum Lavinia Pavlish on "Renegade." Additionally, the career-spanning set included a special version of the Styx classic "Crystal Ball" featuring the debut of a lost verse that was never recorded.

Earlier this year, the CYO celebrated a jubilant night onstage with Kenny Loggins performing his music in May at Severance Hall in Cleveland, where the audience was treated to orchestral versions of Loggins' biggest hits and deeper cuts from his catalog. In July, 50 members of the CYO embarked upon the group's first-ever international tour to Ireland and Scotland. Under the conducting baton of Grossman and performing the symphonic music of Led Zeppelin, the young musicians shared stages with the Dublin Philharmonic Orchestra (in a church in Drogheda, Ireland), the City of Belfast Youth Orchestra (at Queen's University in Belfast, Northern Ireland), and InChorus (an adult chorus) in Edinburgh, Scotland, where CYO and InChorus performed a joint piece at the end of the show. "It was a magical experience," says Grossman. "Seeing the CYO musicians enjoy the tour and spend time with each other was priceless, and they also experienced meeting and performing with peers from another country." Grossman hopes to have the CYO tour other international destinations, as well as undertake domestic touring, in the future.

Skye submitted this story.
It may be edited- Excerpted here with permission.

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