Saturday, October 10
3 p.m. – concert
3:45 p.m. (promptly) – Wedding just before Intermission
The Kimmel Center
300 N. Broad Street
A few songs before Intermission of the Sinatra: A Centennial Celebration Philly POPS concert, First Violinist Rachael Mathey, will sneak off the stage, meet her mom, Dawn West, who will help her get dressed in her wedding gown. Then, just before Intermission, there will be a pause in the concert and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter will walk from the entrance on Stage Right to Maestro Michael Krajewski’s podium. With Sinatra singer Michael Andrew singing “All the Way Home”, Rachael wearing her wedding gown, escorted by her dad, Rick Mathey, will walk down “the aisle” following the Mayor. Her groom, Concertmaster of The Philly POPS/world renowned violin soloist Michael Ludwig, will be waiting in front of the podium with the Maestro nearby holding the rings, switching his role from conductor to “ring bearer!” And, at that time this beautiful bride and her handsome groom will be married.
At this wedding, there will be 65 attendants in the “wedding party” – the entire Philly POPS orchestra – and 2000 guests at the wedding (the audience.)
After the ceremony, the couple will exit through Verizon Hall into the lobby as the “attendants” (65-piece orchestra) play Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March”. After Intermission, they will return to the concert. Rachael will perform in her wedding gown.
Zing! Goes the Strings of My Heart – a popular Sinatra song – should be their theme song!
Michael and Rachael met eight years ago. That summer, in 2007, Rachael was a violinist in the National Repertory Orchestra (NRO) and played all summer in Breckenridge, Colorado. Michael appeared there as a guest violin soloist for one week. She looked at him and thought, "He is the most handsome man I have ever seen." Michael had taken note of an incredibly beautiful violinist in the orchestra, and upon receiving an e-mail after his first rehearsal with the orchestra, he eagerly flipped through the orchestra's program book to see if the email he had received matched the face in the program. It did, he wrote back immediately and they spent hours getting to know each other talking and walking the beautiful streets of Breckenridge.
For two years, they stayed in contact as friends with Michael performing around the world and Rachael completing her Masters’ degree in music performance at Carnegie Mellon University. In October 2009, Michael and his brother Mark had an opportunity to perform for His Holiness the Dalai Lama in Washington, DC. A few days later, on October 9th, Michael visited Rachael in Pittsburgh and, since then, they have been inseparable (except for their performance schedules.)
Almost six years to the day of being together in Pittsburgh, they will be married, on what was the anniversary of Michael’s parents, Irving and Martha, meeting one another – October 10th. Following the wedding ceremony, they will meet with family and friends at Intermission and return to the stage to finish the Sinatra concert. They will then celebrate following the concert at an intimate, private wedding reception. They will perform in both concerts on Sunday, the day after the wedding.
Schedule of Sinatra: A Centennial Celebration in Verizon Hall, Kimmel Center:
Concerts are scheduled for October 9, 8 p.m. – October 10, 3 p.m. -- October 11, 3 and 7:30 p.m.
About The Philly POPS
The Philly POPS, the largest standalone pops orchestra in the United States, delights audiences with the inspired performance of American popular music. The POPS celebrates this distinctive musical heritage through an expanding repertoire of innovative concert presentations and a robust set of educational and engagement initiatives.
Now in its 37th season, the official POPS orchestra of Pennsylvania serves a consistently growing audience of over 75,000 annually. Music Director Michael Krajewski and the 65-person Philly POPS orchestra keeps listeners tapping their toes to an impressive repertoire of songs from the 1920s up through 2015. One day, The Philly POPS is performing Frank Sinatra. The next, Rock ‘n’ Roll. Then, Broadway, ABBA, Billy Joel and on into contemporary chart toppers. The Philly POPS performs as a founding resident company of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, and at venues throughout the mid-Atlantic region.