This preview has been provided by the North Carolina Symphony.

The North Carolina Symphony honors an American original with its season-opening Pops Series concert, “The Music of Ray Charles,” at downtown Raleigh’s Meymandi Concert Hall, Friday and Saturday, Sept. 28-29, 8:00 p.m. Charles’s protégé, friend and fellow Georgia native Ellis Hall joins the orchestra and Symphony Resident Conductor William Henry Curry for an evening of R&B and soul classics.

Hall, a multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, arranger and producer, was appointed by Ray Charles as his R&B heir apparent. He has since worked with an incredible list of music icons, both as lead vocalist, keyboardist, songwriter, arranger and producer of the legendary group Tower of Power and as a collaborator with Stevie Wonder, Patti LaBelle, Kenny G, John Mayer, Natalie Cole, James Taylor and Earth, Wind & Fire, in addition to Ray Charles himself. Hall also enjoyed great success as a member of the multi-platinum California Raisins.

Additionally, he has been featured in several films, including Big Momma’s House and Steven Spielberg’s Catch Me If You Can, and on soundtracks ranging from television’s The West Wing and NYPD Blue to films including Chicken Run and Bruce Almighty. Hall is the only artist other than Ray Charles to be signed to Charles’s label, Crossover Records. This tribute has led to performances with symphony orchestras around the U.S., including the Boston Pops and now the North Carolina Symphony.

Regular tickets to this Pops Series performance range from $18 to $67, with $34 tickets for seniors. Students can receive $15 tickets.

To purchase tickets, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at or call the Symphony Box Office at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724. Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., in Raleigh.

The 2012/13 North Carolina Symphony Pops Series partners are CEI, Highwoods Properties and the Triangle Business Journal.

About the North Carolina Symphony

Founded in 1932 and subsequently made an entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the North Carolina Symphony employs 67 professional musicians under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn and Resident Conductor William Henry Curry. Every year, this orchestra performs over 175 concerts in more than 50 North Carolina counties, with some 60 of those concerts offered in the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill metropolitan area.

The Symphony boasts two spectacular home venues: Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Raleigh and Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C. The Symphony also travels 12,000 miles each year to present concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington; individual concerts in communities across the state; and one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.