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Swing Classics

 The Annual Bartizal Family Memorial Concert

Exciting news! Thanks to a generous donation made in honor of HJ and Dolores Bartizal, this concert is now entirely FREE! This anonymous donor wanted to bring some relief to the NWA community as we recover from the recent tornadoes. #NWAstrong


Get ready to swing the night away as we honor the Bartizal family's unwavering support of the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra! The Golden age of the Big Band created phenomenal music and musical artists such as Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman, Duke Ellington, Ella Fitzgerald, the Andrews Sisters, and many more. The APO Big Band performs a wonderful and exciting array of classic Big Band Swing hits, directed by APO Music Director Steven Byess, who will offer his entertaining insights and anecdotes. But wait, there's more! Before the concert starts at 7 pm, professional swing dancers will be in the Great Hall at 6 pm to give our guests a swing dance lesson. So put on your dancing shoes and get ready to groove. 


6:00 PM - Swing Dance Lessons

7:00 PM - Concert Begins

Event Details


Swing Dance Lessons: 6:00 PM


Concert: Thu, Jun 20, 2024 at 7:00 PM


Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art - Great Hall

600 Museum Way, Bentonville, AR 72712





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featured PERFORMER

Lauren Clare


Meet Lauren Clare, a native of Oklahoma City and proudly representing the Chickasaw Nation. 

Lauren Nicole Clare is a versatile artist - a vocalist, songwriter, producer, pianist, and educator. Her journey began with a solo recital in 2001, setting the stage for her multifaceted career. Graduating with honors in vocal performance from Oklahoma City University, she embraced diverse roles from jazz trio vocalist to choral liaison. As the driving force behind Emmy Nominated, The Allie Lauren Project, she's brought together musicians spanning genres, performing across prestigious venues and even garnering an Emmy nomination. Lauren's footprint extends to teaching, composition, and collaborations with the Chickasaw Nation. Her recent jazz endeavor, Coloring Twelve, marked another milestone. Lauren's sonic creations resonate across stages including museums and universities, reflecting her ceaseless exploration and impact.

Directed by

Maestro Steven Byess


Steven Byess is a dynamic and passionate conductor, hailed by critics as “masterful and brilliant,” “creating the epitome of instrumental elegance,” and capturing “the full spirit and vitality of the score perfectly.” Recognized for his musical versatility, multi-faceted presence on the podium, and passion for music education, he is devoted to promoting a life-long love and enthusiasm for music and the arts.


Steven is the music director of the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra, the Portland Columbia Symphony Orchestra (Oregon), and the North Mississippi Symphony Orchestra. He conducted the U.S. premiere of Russian violinist Alexander Markov’s Rock Concerto at Carnegie Hall in New York, and was selected by Walt Disney World Entertainment to conduct the 2000 NFL E*TRADE Super Bowl Halftime show, where he performed for a television audience of 88 million fans.


As a passionate advocate for the arts, Steven is sought after for his speeches on the arts, music, and education, and has organized collaborations with numerous choruses, chamber music ensembles, and festivals. He wrote and co-directed a PBS presentation, Count On It!, designed to connect music and mathematics for children grades K-3. Since 2013, he has shared this passion with over 80,000 children around the country as a conductor of the Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute Link Up orchestral education concerts.


A prolific conductor of opera from grand to contemporary, his performances include Puccini’s La Bohème and a critically acclaimed production of Robert Ward’s The Crucible at the International Vocal Arts Institute in Tel Aviv, Israel; Puccini’s Madama Butterfly with Greensboro Opera; Bizet’s Carmen with Emerald City Opera (Colorado); Copland’s The Tender Land, Sullivan’s H.M.S. Pinafore and The Pirates of Penzance, and a collaboration with composer Ricky Ian Gordon on his opera “27” with Intermountain Opera (Montana); and Weill’s Street Scene and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance with the Eastman School of Music Opera Theatre. Steven has been a guest conductor at the Pine Mountain Music Festival in Michigan for their productions of Le tragédie de Carmen (Bizet/Brook), a highly acclaimed production of Leonard Bernstein’s Candide,collaborating with the composer’s daughter Jamie Bernstein, and Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.


Steven is the former associate music director of the Ohio Light Opera where he conducted over 80 productions and 21 commercial recordings, including repertoire ranging from well- to little-known operas and operettas to blockbuster classic American musical theater works.


Purchase Tickets


Join the list of our favorite music lovers who help keep the doors open, lights on, musicians fed and themselves smiling. Friends and (Best Friends Forever) of the APO enjoy exclusive access to unique APO activities, deepening their appreciation of the music. They also fund the APO’s many mashups of music and arts throughout NW Arkansas.




Arlene Warner has been an evangelist for the Arkansas Philharmonic Orchestra for many years, encouraging anyone who will listen to attend APO concerts, often buying tickets to share. Her generous and enthusiastic spirit is an invaluable gift to the arts community in Northwest Arkansas.   The Arlene M. Warner Music Scholarship Fund creates opportunities for students to explore music and support the development of musical skills.