Now enjoying its 32nd season, The Paragon Ragtime Orchestra (PRO) is the world’s only year-round, professional ensemble specializing in the authentic recreation of “America’s Original Music” – the sounds of early theater, “silent” cinema, and vintage dance. The program presented at the State Theatre will be "Scott Joplin and the Original Kings of Ragtime" followed by the Orchestra accompanying the Buster Keaton silent film "One Week" (1920).
PRO came into being as the result of Juilliard student Rick Benjamin's 1985 discovery of thousands of historic orchestra scores of legendary Victor recording company which sparked Mr. Benjamin’s formation of PRO. In 1988 PRO made its formal debut at the Lincoln Center. Since then PRO has toured extensively across 48 States and overseas.
These travels have taken the Orchestra to more than 700 performing arts centers, including the the Smithsonian Institution and Chautauqua. In 2017 the PRO had the honor of presenting the official Scott Joplin Centennial Memorial concert at the composer’s grave in Queens, New York.