Aching for Aiken

American Idol runner-up Clay Aiken is coming to Houston for a show with our own Houston Symphony . The show isn't until July but ticket sales went crazy on Monday when the Symphony held a pre-sale limited to Symphony subscribers and Clay Aiken fan club members. Today tickets were made available to the general public and while sales have slowed some, they are still steady. Chances are Aiken's show will be sold-out, a rarety for the Houston Symphony. The only other shows that have sold out this season are Yo-Yo Ma and the Chieftains.

Think of it Clay Aiken singing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" backed by a full orchestra - what a spectacle.

Before you ask why the Houston Symphony is so quick to pimp themselves out as the biggest (and most well educated) back -up band in the universe, we already did. Here's what a symphony spokesman told us:

"We consider ourselves to be Houston's orchestra, and that means across the entire breadth of music. We're proud on an artistic level to be able to present a wide spectrum of repertoire thereby making the Houston Symphony approachable to a broad and diverse audience.

"(You can hardly be a "back-up band" for an artist like Elvis Costello or Ben Folds or k.d. lang, all of who have written specifically for the power of a full orchestra.) And, by the way, all the artists who appear with us have invested substantially large sums of money to have symphony arrangements of their material written so they can perform their shows with symphony orchestras all across the country."

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