Pops concert closes out symphony season

Posted: Thursday, June 10, 2010

The Juneau Symphony will end their 2009-2010 season with their annual Pops Concert on Saturday, June 12 in the Juneau-Douglas High School auditorium.

Saturday's program will include American musical theater medleys from "West Side Story" and "The Sound of Music," plus traditional summertime favorites "Rodeo," "The Stars and Stripes Forever," "King Cotton March," "Battle Hymn of the Republic" and the "1812 Overture."

"This is a really easy, accessible, fun program - short works that are all kind of show stopping in their own way," said conductor Kyle Wiley Pickett.

"West Side Story" was a collaboration between Leonard Bernstein, Steven Sondheim and Jerome Robbins, and "The Sound of Music" was the most successful movie musical for Rogers and Hammerstein. Nearly all of the songs from the show were hit tunes on their own.

"I've done a lot of musical theater conducting, but when you're in a musical theater pit you only have room for 14 or 15 musicians," Picket said, adding that the full orchestra sound in the medleys is fun both for the players and the audience.

"Rodeo," by Aaron Copland, is one of the most iconic American compositions depicting the western United States. The Hoe Down movement of the piece was also used in the "Beef, it's what's for dinner" TV commercial campaign in the early 1990s.

"Everybody in the world will recognize that," Pickett said.

"Battle Hymn of the Republic" was an American abolitionist hymn written during the Civil War as an anthem for the North. It has since become a standard American patriotic song.

Although there is really nothing American at all about the "1812 Overture," it has become the customary finale for most Fourth of July concerts. It's exciting. It uses cannons. The Juneau Symphony is working to have the Juneau Police Department provide the necessary explosive sound effects, though nothing is confirmed yet.

At the concert, Pickett will also announce the Symphony's 2010-2011 season.

Immediately following the performance will be the drawing for the Symphony's annual travel raffle. Raffle prizes include a seven-day cruise with Norwegian Cruise Line and two round-trip tickets on Alaska Airlines. Tickets are on sale now and will be available through intermission of the concert.

After the Pops Concert, the Symphony will take a break until their next season opens on October 23 and 24 at the JDHS Auditorium.

Advance tickets are available at Hearthside Books, the Juneau Arts & Culture Center, and by visiting www.juneausymphony.org. The cost is $20 for adults and $15 for student and seniors. Tickets also available at the door for $2 extra.

For more information, visit www.juneausymphony.org.

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