“He’d be so happy. He so loved his college! ” a passionate, upbeat Terre Blair Hamlisch said as she recalled her late husband to the full house at the Hamlisch Memorial Concert at Queens College’s Kupferberg Center for the Arts on May 5. Originally scheduled for November 12, 2012, the event was postponed because of Hurricane Sandy.
“So proud was he of having graduated from the institution,” the ’68 graduate set up the Marvin Hamlisch Scholarship Endowment, which provides annual scholarships for talented student composers.
The Queens College Orchestra, led by guest conductor J. Ernest Green, opened with a rousing rendition of “One” from Hamlisch’s 1974 mega-hit “A Chorus Line” (lyrics by Edward Kleban). J. Mark McVey — who made his Broadway debut as Jean Valjean in “Les Miserables” — introduced himself as “Marvin’s tenor of choice for twenty-four years. There was no genre he could not write in.” Accompanied by the orchestra, McVey sang “They’re Playing Our Song” (1978 Neil Simon musical of the same name with lyrics by Carol Bayer Sager).