CLEVELAND, Ohio - There was a moment, years ago, when Liza Grossman predicted the future, when the director of the Contemporary Youth Orchestra saw in her mind's eye what's about to transpire next Wednesday.
The year was 2005, and Grossman was watching the Grammy Awards, when out came singer Melissa Etheridge, bald from chemotherapy, with a courageous rendition of "Piece of my Heart."
"I just remember being in tears," Grossman recalled. "I felt like I knew what she was doing, on so many levels. I knew I had to work with her, and I could picture the whole thing."
That vision is now nearly a reality. From the headliner and the venue all the way down to the lighting, Grossman is about to realize her 12-year-old dream with "Pulse," a collaboration at Severance Hall between Etheridge and the CYO.
She's not the only who's excited. Etheridge herself is about as giddy as a veteran vocalist can be, eager to join forces for the first time with a youth orchestra and tackle together a huge set-list of new arrangements.
"I haven't been this excited about a gig in a long time," said the force behind such hits as "I'm the Only One" and "Come to my Window." "I don't even think I know what I'm getting into. This is going to be really cool."