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Pops Out West!

By Liz Snyder The Kenosha Pops Concert Band performs as far east as you can get in Kenosha County — right on the shore of Lake Michigan — but the program’s theme More »

Pops Out West!

KenoshaPopsPennoyerPark
By Liz Snyder
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band performs as far east as you can get in Kenosha County — right on the shore of Lake Michigan — but the program’s theme on June 29 heads in a decidedly western direction.
“Pops Out West” features songs with a Western theme, says Craig Gall, the band’s musical director.
“It gives us a chance to play a varied program of music,” he said.
Assistant Conductor Garrett Kornman added that the program “allows us to bring out a lot of pieces that wouldn’t get played otherwise — they don’t fit into other themes.”
And, Gall said, “it’s a chance for audience members to wear their cowboy hats.”
Those cowboy hats will fit right in with the “Western One-Step” movement of Robert Russell Bennett’s “Suite of Old American Dances.” Bennett, Gall said, “is known for orchestrating 300-plus Broadway musicals, but this is one of his original works for concert band.”
Gall is also leading the band on music from the Broadway musical “Paint Your Wagon.” This piece is new to the Pops Band this year, though it’s from 1951.
The Lerner and Loewe musical — adapted into a 1969 film starring Clint Eastwood in his only musical role to date — contains the songs “Wand’rin Star,” “I Still See Elisa,” “I Talk to the Trees” and “They Call the Wind Maria.”
Other songs Gall is conducting include:
– John Philip Sousa’s arrangement of a Percy Grainger setting of “Country Gardens,” a traditional dance tune.
– “The Roosters Lay Eggs in Kansas,” a piece by composer Mayhew Lake that was Sousa’s favorite encore when his band performed.
– The finale of Rossini’s “William Tell Overture.” Greg Berg, the band’s master of ceremonies, will read the radio introduction that was used by “The Lone Ranger” program that made this overture famous, Gall said.
– “Grand Canyon Fanfare,” another new piece to the Pops Band’s library. The song is from the 1991 movie “Grand Canyon.”
– Ferde Grofe’s “On the Trail” from “The Grand Canyon Suite,” an orchestral work from the 1930s. Fans of the movie “A Christmas Story” will recognize this tune as Ralphie’s BB gun theme.
– Rounding out Gall’s pieces are John Barry’s score from the 1990 Western “Dances with Wolves,” Sousa’s “New Mexico March”  and Leroy Anderson’s “Horse and Buggy.”
Kornman is leading the band on:
– “Prairie Reflections,” a medley of three classic cowboy tunes — “Along the Navajo Trail,” “Nobody’s Darlin’ But Mine” and “Just Because.”
– “Streets of Laredo,” which Kornman calls “one of the most famous cowboy songs.”
– “Hoe-Down Stomp,” a 1962 Warren Barker tune. “The piece has a hoe-down feel in the beginning, but then Barker modernizes it with a bluesy rhythm” Kornman says of the piece, which features John Sorensen on trumpet.
– “The Cowboys” by James D. Ployhar, which compiles familiar melodies — “Bury Me Not on the Lone Prairie,” “Home on the Range” and “Streets of Laredo” done in a Latin-style.
Admission is free. If it rains, the concert is canceled.
If you go
What: Kenosha Pops Concert Band performance
When: 7 tonight
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, at Seventh Avenue and 35th Street
Cost: Free
Looking ahead: The Pops Band performs a pre-fireworks show 7 p.m. Monday in Wolfenbuttel Park and, on July 6, the band is back on the band shell. That program will feature patriotic favorites plus some pieces from the June 22 rock ’n’ roll program that was rained out.
Triad jazz trio performing before the Pops tonight.
Triad, a Kenosha-based jazz trio made up of local performers/educators Brian Ford (drums), Terry Peterson (guitar) and Jeremy Kriedeman (bass), will perform from 6:15 to 6:45 tonight before the Kenosha Pops Band’s concert.
The group “is known for blending traditional jazz standards and more modern music and has built a reputation of providing audience-friendly shows that appeal to the casual music listener as well as more discriminating music aficionados,” Kriedeman said.

Pops Rocks!

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by Liz Snyder
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band is planning to make some noise June 22, 2016 for “Pops Rocks,” a program featuring “rock ’n’ roll favorites performed Kenosha Pops-style,” says Craig Gall, the band’s musical director.
One noise they hope to avoid is thunder. Severe storms are in the forecast, and Gall may be pushing his luck by conducting “Rainy Days and Mondays,” a tune made famous by The Carpenters.
If the rain holds off, he says, “Rock night should be a fun concert for everyone.”
Other songs Gall is conducting include:
– “Pop and Rock Legends: Chicago,” an arrangement by John Wasson of tunes made famous by the band Chicago, including  “Make Me Smile,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” “Saturday in the Park” and “25 or 6 to 4” The group was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April.
– “Bacharach and David,” arranged by John Cacavas. This medley features hits written by the songwriters, including “I Say a Little Prayer,” “I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” “What the World Needs Now is Love” and “Do You Know the Way to San Jose.” The tunes were recorded in the late 1960s by singer Dionne Warwick.
– “Tribute to Jim Croce,” including the songs  “Photographs and Memories,” “Time in a Bottle,” “Operator” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”  Croce, who died at age 30 in a 1973 plane crash, “wrote a lot of nice melodies,” Gall said.
– “Goin’ Out of My Head” by Teddy Randazzo and Bobby Weinstein, recorded by Little Anthony and the Imperials
– “Sounds of Sonny and Cher,” a Bill Holcombe arrangement containing early hits by the duo — “Gypsys, Tramps and Thieves,” “A Cowboy’s Work is Never Done” and “Living in a House Divided.”
– Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” “Audience participation is expected on that piece,” Gall said.
– The Earth, Wind and Fire hit “September.”
– “Volare” by Domenico Modugno. “This piece fits into our rock ’n’ roll night,” Gall explained, “because the singer was an Italian rock star who recorded this song in 1958.” “Volare” was an international hit and received two Grammy Awards.
– “Alla Barocco” by Caesar Giovannini. Gall calls this song “a blast from the past” and says “it should be recognizable to anyone who was in a high school band in the 1970s. This folk rock piece really caught on and was played by bands everywhere.”
Assistant Conductor Garrett Kornman is conducting a medley of hits from Carole King’s album “Tapestry,” including “You’ve Got a Friend,” “So Far Away,” “I Feel the Earth Move” and “Tapestry.”
Kornman is also leading the band on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” — which was Diana Ross’ first No. 1 hit — and Richard Saucedo’s arrangment called “One Hit Wonders.” The medley includes “Hang On Sloopy,” “Whip It,” “Rock & Roll Part II (The Hey Song)” and “Mickey.”
A new piece to the Pops that Kornman is conducting “will be familiar to anyone who has heard the Samuel Adams beer commercials.” The song — “I’m Shipping Up to Boston” — also has some Hollywood fame. “This arrangement, performed by the Dropkick Murphys,” Kornman said, “was heard in the movie ‘The Departed.’ ”
Admission is free. If the weather is bad, the concert will be canceled.
If you go:
What: Kenosha Pops Concert Band performance
When: 7 p.m. June 22, 2016
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, at Seventh Avenue and 35th Street
Cost: Free

Curtain Up! on 94th Pops Season

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The Kenosha Pops Concert Band is opening its 94th season June 15, 2016, with “Curtain Up!” — a program filled with Broadway tunes. “We’re raising the curtain on another season,” said Craig Gall, the band’s conductor, “which makes a Broadway theme perfect for tonight.”
Pieces Gall will lead the band on include:
– The “Curtain Up!” medley of Broadway tunes arranged by Warren Barker, including “Let Me Entertain You” from “Gypsy,” three tunes by Alan Jay Lerner and Frederick Loewe — “I Could Have Danced All Night” from “My Fair Lady,” “If Ever I Would Leave You” from “Camelot” and the title song from “Gigi” — plus Cole Porter’s “Can-Can.”
– Highlights from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
– “Stout Hearted Men” by Sigmund Romberg, from the 1928 operetta “The New Moon.”
– Leroy Anderson’s “Pyramid Dance” from the musical “Goldilocks.” The musical starred Kenosha native Don Ameche and a young Elaine Stritch, Gall said. “Critics hated the show, which was funny because it was written by theater critic Walter Kerr and his wife, Jean, but they loved Anderson’s music.”
– Highlights from “The King and I.” This is a new arrangement by Stephen Bulla of the familiar songs by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein. “This is very faithful to the original Broadway overture orchestration that was heard from the pit in 1951,” Gall said.
– The Pops Band’s trombone section will be featured on “Seventy Six Trombones” by Meredith Willson.
– “Funny Girl” by Jule Styne and Bob Merrill, arranged for band by Robert Russell Bennett.
Assistant conductor Garrett Kornman is leading the band on:
– A medley of songs from Cole Porter’s musical “Kiss Me Kate.”
– A Warren Barker arrangement called “Marching Down Broadway.” This features a medley of “Before the Parade Passes By” from “Hello, Dolly!” “Hey Look Me Over” from 1960’s “Wildcat” — the only Broadway show that featured Lucille Ball — and “The New Ashmolean Marching Society and Students Conservatory Band” from the Broadway production of “Where’s Charley?” “That show starred Roy Bolger of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ fame.)
Tonight’s program features three guest vocalists performing with the Pops:
– Kathryn Thorson, a member of the Pops Band’s flute section, will be the featured vocalist on “What I Did For Love,” by Marvin Hamlisch from the Broadway musical “A Chorus Line.” This piece was arranged for Thorson by her nephew, Joshua Gallagher, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music. Miss America 2012 Laura Kaeppeler, a Kenosha native, performed this arrangement with the Pops Band in July of 2012.
– Bob Benson — filling in tonight for master of ceremonies Greg Berg — is singing George Gershwin’s “I Got Plenty o’ Nuttin’ ” from “Porgy and Bess.”
– Lou Rugani, host of WLIP-AM 1050’s longtime radio show “Music of the Stars,” is singing “Someone to Watch Over Me” and “But Not For Me” — both tunes by George and Ira Gershwin, arranged by Barker. “But Not For Me” is from the 1930 musical “Girl Crazy”; “Someone to Watch Over Me” is from the 1926 musical “Oh, Kay!”
– Kenosha native Will Schaefer arranged “A Wright and Forrest Collection” with tune from the Broadway musical “Kismet” by Robert Craig Wright and George Forrest. Songs in the medley include “Stranger in Paradise,” “And This is My Beloved” and “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” Schaefer directed this piece when he was the guest conductor with the Pops Band for its July 19, 2006, concert, said Kornman, who will conduct the piece tonight.
If you go
What: Kenosha Pops Concert Band performance
When: 7 tonight
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, at Seventh Avenue and 35th Street
Cost: Free
Next concert: 7 p.m. June 22: “Pops Rocks,” featuring rock ’n’ roll favorites

2016 Kenosha Pops Concert Band Season Preview

Kenosha Pops Band performing 94th season
By Liz Snyder
As the Kenosha Pops Concert Band starts its 94th season, the group’s conductors have come up with another slate of “theme nights” for each outdoor concert. But the overall, unofficial theme for the summer is “New Music.”
“Each year, Garrett and I research new music, and some years we can’t find anything,” said Craig Gall, the band’s musical director, referring to the work he and Garrett Kornman, the band’s assistant conductor, do in the off-season. This year, however, “we’ve found a lot of really neat new pieces,” Gall said. Those “neat new pieces” have resulted in a theme centered around songs related to sports. “We were looking at some of the new music available for purchase,” Kornman said, “and we saw a piece with music from NFL Films. That inspired our ‘Sporting Life’ theme for the July 27 concert.”
“The Sporting Life” program will also feature John Philip Sousa’s “The National Game” march. That piece was written in 1925 but is new to the Pops Band’s extensive music library. Sousa wrote “The National Game” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of baseball’s National League and dedicated it to the first major league baseball commissioner, Judge Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
In addition to “The Sporting Life” — which Gall calls “a brand-new theme” and is looking forward to — he says the Pops audiences “can look forward to lots of new pieces all summer.” 

June 15: “Curtain Up!”: A Broadway Night for the season opening
June 22: “Pops Rocks”: Rock ’n’ roll favorites performed Kenosha Pops-style
June 29: “Pops Out West!”: Tunes with a Western theme
July 4: “National Pops”: The band’s annual pre-fireworks concert at Wolfenbuttel Park, packed with patriotic favorites
July 6: “Patriotic Re-View”: If you missed the July 4 show — or want to hear more Sousa marches — come to Pennoyer Park
July 13: “Lights, Camera, Pops!”: The Pops Band performs music from the silver screen
July 20: “Oriental Excursions”: A program filled with tunes from the Far East
July 27: “The Sporting Life” — a program featuring song titles with a sports connection, plus a salute to the upcoming Summer Olympics
Aug. 3: “The Second Time Around”: Favorites from this season
“Pops-a-Float” — The Pops Band also performs on July 3 as part of the Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade.
Admission is free. Benches are provided at the band shell. Audience members can also bring lawn chairs or blankets.
During band shell performances, the Pops Band operates a concession stand, offering the world-famous Pops Band Popcorn, plus candy, soda, water and coffee. Funds are used to purchase equipment for the band.
Concession stand
The band operates a concession stand, offering the world-famous Pops Band Popcorn, plus candy, soda, water and coffee. Funds are used to purchase equipment for the band.
2016 Kenosha Pops Concert Band concerts
All concerts start at 7 p.m. The band’s Wednesday night concerts are on the band shell in Pennoyer Park, Seventh Avenue and 35th Street:

Pops Rewind

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Pops Band wraps up season with a night of favorites

By Liz Snyder

The Kenosha Pops Concert Band is closing its season Aug. 5, 2015, with a program of favorites from this summer’s performances. The band’s musical director, Craig Gall, says: “We had another great summer of music making for the Kenosha community. And we appreciate all their support.” Tonight’s program, he said, “features pieces from every concert we played. We had a lot of fun themes, and our indoor concert was a real treat for us, too. We were able to play more difficult pieces that don’t work well outside.”

Assistant Conductor Garrett Kornman said, as he does every summer, “I can’t believe it’s the end of another Pops Band season. It seems to go by so fast every year. This is a great group of musicians, and I really appreciate everyone’s efforts this summer.” It was a particularly busy season on the podium for Kornman, who worked solo in front of the band for two weeks while Gall was at a music festival in the Czech Republic.

The program features:
From the band’s “Welcome Back Potpourri” concert on June 17:
•“The Glory of the Brass,” arranged by Ernest Broeniman, the leader of the Dorf Kappelle German band that performs every fall at Kemper Center’s Oktoberfest.
•A medley of songs from “The Sound of Music.” The movie is celebrating its 50th anniversary, but this arrangement also features tunes from the Broadway production that were cut from the film.
•“Cinema Paradiso”  — from the 1988 Italian film — featuring Kornman on the alto saxophone.
•A medley of tunes by the Mamas & The Papas, including “Monday, Monday,” “Dream a Little Dream of Me” and “California Dreamin.’ ”

From the June 24 “Pops Through the Decades” concert:
•“Twentiana,” a medley of several songs from the 1920s, including “I Want to be Happy,” “Bye, Bye, Blackbird,” “Charleston” and “Tea for Two.”
•“I Write the Songs,” which was a huge hit for Barry Manilow in the 1970s.
•“Africa,” as performed by the band Toto in the 1980s.
•The “Captain America March” from the superhero movie.

From the July 4 patriotic favorites program:
•John Philip Sousa’s “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” the official national march of the United States of America.

From the July 8 “Latin Lilt” concert:
•“Cumana” by Barclay Allen. This was the theme song in the 1940 s for Allen’s big band.

From the July 15 children’s concert:
•Tunes from the Broadway musical “Annie,” including “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything bu You” and “Tomorrow.”

From the July 22 “Technicolor” concert:
•“The Greenbriars of Wexley.” Master American composer Sammy Nestico wrote this concert march, Kornman said.
•The Rodgers and Hart classic “Blue Moon.”

From the July 29 “Symphonic Pops” indoor concert:
•“Flourish for Wind Band,” written by Ralph Vaughn Williams as an overture to a pageant held in London in 1939.

The program will also feature “Old Scottish Melody” — better known as “Auld Lang Syne.” That traditional piece, sung by master of ceremonies Greg Berg, has become the band’s signature sign-off each season.

“It’s always sad to see the summer season end,” Gall said, adding, “but we’ll see everyone Dec. 19 at Carthage College for our Christmas concert.”

If you go
What: The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s concert of encores from the 2015 season
When: 7 p.m. Aug. 5, 2015
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, at 35th Street and Seventh Avenue on Kenosha’s lakefront
Admission: Free

Technicolor

Technicolor

by Liz Snyder
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s performance on July 22, 2015, promises to be a colorful affair — even if band members are wearing their white polo shirts and black pants. Audience members are welcome to break out their best tie-dyed shirts.
The theme is “Pops in Technicolor,” and the tunes all have colors in their titles.
“This is a different type of theme for the band,” said Garrett Kornman, who will conduct tonight. “Craig (Gall) and I came up with this theme several years ago when we realized how many tunes in the Pops’ library have colors in the title. It has been excellent in bringing to light several of our more obscure pieces that have not seen the light of day in many years.”
A number of the pieces, he added, “are wonderful works by American composers who wrote specifically for concert bands.”
Also on July 22, Kornman said, “most sections of the band are featured throughout the concert, giving the audience a chance to hear the various ‘colors’ each of the sections provide within the overall sound of the band.”
The program will include:
— March of the Golden Brass.” John Cacavas composed this march. We’re going out on a limb here and assuming this piece features the Pops’ brass section.
— “The Green Domino.” American composer Clare Grundman wrote this overture. “Although Grundman composed numerous works for film, radio and television, he is best remembered today for his numerous works for symphonic band,” Kornman said.
— “A Study in Lavender.” American band composer Eric Osterling wrote this piece. “In addition to his numerous compositions, Osterling was also a public school teacher for more than 30 years,” Kornman said.
— “The Golden Ear.” This is a paso doble by Spanish composer Mariano San Miguel. It would often be played at bullfights in Spain, Kornman said.
— “Azure Mist.” Kornman describes this Lloyd Conley piece as “a mysterious, moody composition.”
— “Rainbows.” This is a medley of popular songs with “Rainbow” in the title, featuring “Over the Rainbow” from “The Wizard of Oz,” “Look to the Rainbow” from “Finian’s Rainbow” and “Sing a Rainbow” from the movie “Pete Kelly’s Blues.”
— “Color Me Blue.” Kenosha native Will Schaefer wrote this tune. “We had programmed this piece on a 2007 concert in which Schaefer was to be back in Kenosha to conduct,” Kornman said. “He passed away several weeks prior, though, and we played the piece as a tribute to him.”
Schaefer, who had a long career composing music for movies and television, died in 2007 at age 78. He was the guest conductor with the Pops Band for its July 19, 2006, concert and had planned a return visit before he lost his battle with cancer.
In addition to his impressive list of movie and TV music credits, Schaefer had deep roots with the Pops Band. His father, Helmuth Schaefer, was the band’s first musical director. The younger Schaefer performed with the Pops Band while in high school, in 1945 and ’46, playing trumpet under director George E. Manupella.
— “The Greenbriars of Wexley.” Master American composer Sammy Nestico wrote this concert march, Kornman said.
— “Amber Waves of Grain.” Kornman describes this tune as “a symphonic rhapsody on the melody of ‘America the Beautiful,’ arranged by James Curnow.”
— “The Blue-Tail Fly.” This popular Civil War-era tune features the sound of a giant fly swatter provided by the percussion section.
— “The Golden Age of Broadway.” This medley of well-known tunes from popular Broadway shows includes “The Music Man,” “Guys and Dolls,” “Fiddler on the Roof” and “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.”
— “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” The 1970 musical features the music of composer Andrew Lloyd Webber.
— “Blue Moon.” The Rodgers and Hart tune is an audience favorite, Kornman said.
“There will also probably be a few ‘colorful’ marches and polkas thrown in to round out the program,” he added.
And, as we noted above, tie-dyed shirts are welcome (though optional).
Note: Kornman is handling directing duties this week while the band’s other conductor, Craig Gall, is in Europe.

If you go
What: The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s “Technicolor” program
When: 7 p.m. July 22, 2015
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, Seventh Avenue and 35th Street
Admission: Free
Rain: If it rains, the concert is canceled

Symphonic Pops IV

Symphonic Pops IV

By Liz Snyder
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band — a Wednesday night fixture on the band shell during the summer months — is taking its show inside July 29 for a “Symphonic Pops IV” performance in Carthage College’s Siebert Chapel.
“This is an exciting concert because we can play music that we couldn’t play outside,” said Garrett Kornman, the band’s assistant conductor. “We can perform more delicately scored pieces, whose little details get ‘lost’ when performed outdoors.
“That means,” he added, “we can introduce the audience to different types of music.”
Playing different types of music tonight was the inspiration for the band’s indoor concerts, said Craig Gall, the band’s conductor.
“It’s always a treat to bring the band inside and take advantage of the reverberance of the hall — and we don’t have to worry about our music blowing off the stands,” he said.
In honor of tonight’s special concert, the Pops Band has some special features planned:
— Air conditioning! Even if the weather turns steamy, the band is performing in a cooled environment.
— Rachmaninoff! The program includes the Russian composer’s “Andante Cantabile,” arranged by Calvin Custer. “This is an arrangement of the beautiful ‘18th Variation on a Theme of Paganini’ by Sergei Rachmaninoff,” Gall said.
— Sousa! Though the Pops won’t be on the band shell tonight, the always popular John Philip Sousa — known mostly for his marches — is still on the program. The Pops is performing Sousa’s “Songs of Grace and Songs of Glory.” Gall describes the piece as “a fantasy of well-known hymns Sousa used on his Sunday concerts including ‘Rock of Ages,’ ‘The Palms,’ ‘Steal Away’ and ‘Nearer My God to Thee.’ ”
— Opera! The program includes the “Triumphal March” from Giuseppe Verdi’s opera “Aida.”
— Broadway! The Pops is performing selections from “Camelot” by Allan J. Lerner and Frederick Loewe. Vocalists Michael Anderle and Nick Huff will sing three songs from the 1960 broadway musical — the title song, “How to Handle a Woman” and “If Ever I Would Leave You.” The arrangement comes to the Pops from the U.S. Army Field Band of Fort Meade, Md.
— New stuff! “The Sinfonians,” by Clifton Williams, “is new to the Kenosha Pops music library this summer,” Gall said. “This march dates back to 1960 and was commissioned by the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia men’s music fraternity of America and utilizes the organization’s ‘Sinfonian Hymn’ as thematic material.” Gall adds that the group’s hymn “is a melody borrowed from the Gilbert & Sullivan operetta ‘The Pirates of Penzance.’ ”
— Still more new stuff! “Washington Greys March,” by the Spanish-born composer and band leader Claudio Grafulla, was written in 1855 and is making its first appearance on a Kenosha Pops program.
— Percy Grainger! “Ye Banks and Braes O’ Bonnie Doon” is described by Gall as “a lovely setting of an old Scottish folk song, created by the famous Australian composer in 1936.”
— Strauss! “Allerseelen,” by Richard Strauss, was arranged for band by Oliver Davis.
— A masterpiece! “First Suite in Eb,” by Gustav Holst, was composed in 1909. Gall calls this piece “the granddaddy of all band music and one of the cornerstone masterworks in the concert band repertoire.”
— Tuxedos! The conductors will break out their formal wear tonight on the podium. (Black-tie is not required for audience members.)
Also on the program: “Flourish for Wind Band,” written by Ralph Vaughn Williams as an overture to a pageant held in London in 1939, and “Toccata” by early 20th century Spanish composer and cellist Gaspar Cassadó.
The band first played an indoor symphonic summer concert in 2007 and each December plays a holiday concert in Siebert Chapel.

If you go
What: Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s “Symphonic Pops IV” concert
When: 7 p.m. July 29, 2015
Where: Siebert Chapel on the Carthage College campus, 2001 Alford Park Drive
Cost: Free
Pre-concert performance: Students in the Panther Band Camp will play, starting at 6:15 p.m.
Next concert: 7 p.m. Aug. 5. The band moves back to the Sesquicentennial Band Shell in Pennoyer Park for the season finale, a program featuring favorite tunes from this summer.

Panther Band Camp kids performing
Students in the Panther Band Camp — a weeklong program for students entering the sixth through eighth grades in western Kenosha County grade schools — will perform July 29 in Siebert Chapel, starting at 6:15 p.m., before the Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s program.
The camp is staffed by the Wilmot area band directors including Matt Macarri, Jenny Vanderloop, David Dvorak, Linda Ledanski and John Sorensen. All the band directors will be taking a turn at the podium.
The students will perform: “Portsmouth Overture” by Robert W. Smith, “Gadget” by Randall Standridge, “Pevensey Castle” by Robert Sheldon, “Song of the Blacksmith” by Gustav Holst and “Happy” by Pharrell Williams.

Kinderkonzert!

Mozart-fuer-kinder-gasteig

by Liz Snyder
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band hopes to appeal to “youngsters and those who are young at heart” with the July 15 “Kinderkonzert” program, according to Garrett Kornman, who will conduct the band. (Apparently, the program is also aimed at people with a love for creative spelling.)
Selections range from pieces familiar to kids today — Randy Newman’s music from the movie “Toy Story 2,” including “You’ve Got a Friend in Me” — to older tunes for those “young at heart” audience members, including the classic John Bratton song “The Teddy Bear’s Picnic,” which dates to 1907.
The concert will start and end with circus marches by Karl L. King — the king of circus marches. “Invictus” was dedicated by King to Merle Evans, then the bandmaster of the Ringling Brothers Circus. The other King piece is “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite” march, with famous circus melodies.
The concert will also feature:
– “Cartoon Symphony,” a medley arranged by Larry Clark and featuring “This is It!” — the theme from “The Bugs Bunny Show” — plus the theme from “The Jetsons,” the theme from “The Simpsons,” “Animaniacs” and “Merrily We Roll Along.”
– “The Music of Disneyland,” featuring songs that are related to the theme park, not Disney movies. Tunes include “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah,” “Mickey Mouse March,” “You Can Fly, You Can Fly, You Can Fly” and “A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes.”
– “The Waltzing Cat” by Pops favorite Leroy Anderson. “This piece has a fun twist — animal sound effects,” Kornman said.
– “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” by French composer Paul Dukas. The 1896 piece was made famous in the 1940 Disney animated movie “Fantasia.”
– “A Charlie Brown Celebration,” a medley of music by Vince Guaraldi, originally written for a 1960s TV special that never aired. “The music was then recycled for the Peanuts Christmas special,” Kornman said. Guaraldi went on to compose scores for 17 Peanuts television specials.
The tunes in the medley include “Linus and Lucy,” “Christmas Time is Here” and “The Great Pumpkin Waltz.” Alto saxophone soloist Curtis Crump is featured on the “Charlie Brown Theme.”
– “Under the Sea,” a calypso piece by Howard Ashman and Alan Menken, made famous in the animated Disney film “The Little Mermaid.”
– Henry Mancini’s “Baby Elephant Walk” from the 1962 movie “Hitari!” starring John Wayne, which was filmed in Africa.
– Mancini’s theme for “The Pink Panther” is heard in the mash-up piece “The Pink Panther Meets Batman” — containing both those famous themes from the 1960s.
– “The Lion Sleeps Tonight.” This tune was written and recorded first by Solomon Linda with the Evening Birds for the South African Gallo Record Company in 1939, under the title “Mbube.” Composed in Zulu, it was adapted and covered internationally by many 1950s pop and folk revival artists, including the Weavers, Jimmy Dorsey and the Kingston Trio.
In 1961, it became a No. 1 hit in the United States as adapted in English, with the best-known version by the doo-wop group the Tokens.
– “Roller Coaster,” a quick-moving piece written by Johnny Cowell, who was a trumpet player with the Canadian Brass. A trumpet trio made up of Kevin Velvikis, Eric Weiss and Nancy Quist is featured.
– Tunes from the Broadway musical “Annie,” including “It’s the Hard Knock Life,” “Easy Street,” “I Don’t Need Anything bu You” and “Tomorrow.”
“We don’t play that show very often,” Kornman said, “and it’s got some really nice music in it.”
Kornman is handling directing duties this week while the band’s other conductor, Craig Gall, is in Europe.

If you go
What: The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s “Kinderkonzert” program
When: 7 p.m. July 15
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, Seventh Avenue and 35th Street
Admission: Free
Pre-concert performance: The KUSD’s K-L Recreations Band plays starting at 6:15 p.m.
Rain: If it rains, the concert is canceled

K-L Band performing before the Pops
The Kenosha Unified School District’s K-L Band — made up of 103 students who will be in sixth grade this fall — is performing at 6:15 p.m. July 15, before the Pops Band’s program, on the band shell in Pennoyer Park.
“These students just finished their first year of playing,” said Geoff Poole, the band’s conductor.
“It’s been an absolute blast to work with these kids,” he said. “They are so enthusiastic, and it’s wonderful to watch them grow as players.”
Poole, an elementary school band teacher for KUSD, adds that “the K-L parents have been a great help this summer, too.”
The band ends its season tonight, performing “Ayre and Dance” by Bruce Pearson, “Whirlwinds” by David Shaffer, the “Infinity” march by James Curnow, “Comet Ride” by Brian Balmages and “Dance of the Jabberwocky” by Rob Grice.

July 8: Latin Lilt

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Pops Band heats up with Latin-themed concert

by Liz Snyder

The Kenosha Pops Band performs a “Latin Lilt” concert July 8, 2015, on the band shell in Pennoyer Park. “This is fiery music — which we may need to warm up this cool weather,” said Craig Gall, the band’s musical director. The free concert features pieces that are new to the Pops Band — including “La Flor de Seville March” by John Philip Sousa. “We bought this piece last year,” Gall said. “We wanted a Sousa piece that ties into this theme.” Also new to the Pops is “Carnaval in São Paulo” by James Barnes, which Gall calls “a charming, happy piece.”

On the other end of the musical spectrum, four of the pieces date back to the George Manupella era with the band and were taken from the back files of the Pops Band’s extensive music library. Manupella was the Pops Band’s director from 1924 to 1961. Those pieces are:

– “My Little Star (Estrellita)” by Manuel A. Ponce, described as a “Mexican serenade.”
– “Malagueña.” The piece is the fiery finale from the 1927 “Andalucia” suite by composer Ernesto Lecuona, known as “the Cuban Gershwin.”
– “Amparito Roca” a Spanish march by Jaime Texidor that is a longtime Pops favorite
– “Cumana” by Barclay Allen. This was the theme song in the 1940 s for Allen’s big band.

Gall is also conducting:
– “Latin Celebration,” a medley of tunes including “Brazil,” “Besame Mucho,” “Perfidia” and “Mambo Jambo.”
– Leory Anderson’s lesser-known tango “The Girl in Satin.”
– Songs from the Broadway show “Man of La Mancha.” Greg Berg, the band’s master of ceremonies, will sing “The Impossible Dream.” Other tunes in the medley include “Little Bird, Little Bird,” “Dulcinea” and the title tune, “Man of La Mancha.”

And no Latin-themed concert would be complete without tunes from the Tijuana Brass. Garrett Kornman, the band’s assistant conductor, is leading the band on “Tijuana Brass in Concert,” a medley of tunes made famous by Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass, including “Spanish Flea,” “Whipped Cream,” “The Lonely Bull” and “Tijuana Taxi.” “Spanish Flea” was made famous as the theme for TV’s “The Dating Game” in the 1960s. (For younger readers: The show functioned as a televised, more innocent form of Tinder.)

Kornman is also conducting:
– “Copa Cabaña.” But — this is a piece written by Harold L. Walters and isn’t the famous Barry Manilow song. “Walters is an American composer writing in the style of the samba,” Kornman said.
– “Blue Tango,” the better-known Anderson tango. “He’s not a Latin composer,” Kornman says of the Pops favorite, “but the tango is from Argentina in South America.”
– “The Sound of Brazil,” a medley featuring “Quiet Nights of Quiet Stars,” “Meditation,” “One Note Samba,” “How Insensitive” and “The Girl From Ipanema.” These are all bossa novas written by Tom Jobim, a Brazilian songwriter, composer, arranger, singer and pianist/guitarist who was a primary force behind the creation of the bossa nova style. “ ‘Ipanema’ was recorded by Stan Getz in the mid-’ 60s during the bossa nova craze,” Kornman said.
– The march “Zacatecas” by Genaro Codina. “This is ‘ the unofficial Mexican national anthem, ’” Kornman said.

Kornman says this concert theme “has a lot of recognizable melodies. People should feel free to get up and dance.”

The band is also playing the “Böhmischer Traum” polka. “This piece, about 15 years old, is very popular in Europe,” Gall said. He is heading to the Czech Republic next week for a vacation and programmed this piece on Latin Night exercising his “conductor’s prerogative” as a bon voyage piece.

If you go:
What: The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s “Latin Lilt” concert
When: 7 p.m. July 8, 2015
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, Seventh Avenue and 35th Street
Admission: Free
Rain: If it rains, the concert is canceled

Dave Braun Trio playing before the Pops:
The Dave Braun Trio — featuring Dave Braun on guitar, his wife Paula on bass and their son Pete on drums — is performing July 8 at 6:15 p.m. on the band shell, before the Kenosha Pops Band’s program.
Paula Braun also plays flute with the Pops Band, which she joined as a teenager more than four decades ago. Among the tunes the trio is playing are “Recorda-Me” by Joe Henderson, “I Wish” by Stevie Wonder and “Sonny Moon for Two” by Sonny Rollins. They will also perform the theme from the 1959 Brazilian movie “Black Orpheus.” The film’s soundtrack has become a bossa nova classic. Tim Bell — a retired jazz instructor at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside — will join the trio for a few numbers.

The Dave Braun Trio is now in its 21st year playing music every Friday night at the HobNob Restaurant. Dave Braun said it’s rare for a house band to be playing at the same location for that long, but it’s an opportunity he’s cherished since the beginning. “I have always believed that if you swing and play from the heart, people will come,” he said in an interview in the May 2014 issue of Just Jazz Guitar magazine. While the group has seen several changes in sound, the biggest development came from Pete being added to the group, Dave Braun told the Kenosha News. “My son has forced me out of my comfort zone with his youth and different styles of listening experience,” he said. “He really influences how we play, and there’s more interaction between the group than there ever was before.”

The Dave Braun Trio plays at the HobNob, 277 Sheridan Road, from 7 to 10 p.m. every Friday night. For more information, go to www.davebraunjazz.com.

 

An American Salute

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Get ready For the Fourth with our ‘Pops’ Quiz

By Liz Snyder

The Kenosha Pops Concert Band is doubling up this week, with concerts July 1 in Pennoyer Park and July 4 in Wolfenbuttel Park. “We’re playing two different programs, though you can expect to hear some of the same pieces both nights,” says Craig Gall, the band’s conductor. The theme both nights is, naturally, patriotic tunes and Americana. “We’re covering music from the American Revolution and then through all the different eras,” Gall said.

The band’s guest for both concerts is Miss Kenosha Kiersten Gonzales. She’ll be singing  “I Dreamed a Dream” from the Broadway musical “Les Miserables,” George and Ira Gershwins’ “They Can’t Take that Away from Me” and “Let It Go” from the Disney mega-hit movie “Frozen.”

In the spirit of the July Fourth holiday, we offer a patriotic quiz, with the answers provided by the pieces on the program:

 

1) What war ended 150 years ago?

•That would be the Civil War, which ended in 1865. The Pops Band is performing “The Blue and the Gray,” a setting of Civil War-era tunes by Clare Grundman that includes “Marching Through Georgia,” “Tenting Tonight,” “The Yellow Rose of Texas,” “Aura Lee,” “Dixie” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

2) What war ended 70 years ago?

•World War II. To mark that anniversary, the Pops is performing “Normandy,” also by Grundman, based on the old French song “Ma Normandie.” Also on the program is “Hymn to the Fallen” by John Williams from the movie “Saving Private Ryan.” “The D-Day Normandy invasion (June 6, 1944) marked the beginning of the end of War War II,” Gall said. “And the opening of the movie ‘Saving Private Ryan’ depicts the landings on the Normandy beaches, connecting these two pieces.”

3) What Samuel Augustus Ward hymn was combined with a poem by Katharine Lee Bates and has become a beloved patriotic tune?

•“America the Beautiful.” The Pops Band is playing Carmen Dragon’s arrangement of the piece, with vocals by Greg Berg, the Pops Band’s master of ceremonies. Berg will lead the audience in a sing-along called “Sing for America,” featuring “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”

4) Which patriotic song was originally sung by British military officers to mock the disheveled, disorganized colonial “Yankees” with whom they served in the French and Indian War?

•“Yankee Doodle.” The Pops is performing Morton Gould’s contemporary setting of the traditional tune. Gall calls Gould’s version “a wild ride.”

5) What American composer wrote such classics as “Some Folks,” “Old Kentucky Home,” Oh! Susanna” and “Camptown Races”?

•Stephen Foster, who is known as “the father of American music.” The Pops is performing a medley of Foster’s songs, arranged by Sammy Nestico and directed by Garrett Kornman, the band’s assistant conductor.

6) What F.W. Meacham piece was designed to give the impression of a parade passing by?

•“American Patrol,” an 1885 march Kornman calls “an oldie but a goodie.”

7) What style of music was born in the United States?

•Jazz — called “America’s indigenous musical art form.” Gall said the Pops “wanted to include some jazz because it was developed here in America.” The band is playing “Dixieland Jam,” featuring a dixieland combo made up of Tim Bell on clarinet, John Sorensen on trumpet, John Schoettler on trombone, Marv Miller on tenor saxophone. Dave Boyd on tuba and Jerry Matteucci on the drum set. The “Jam” includes “Basin Street Blues,” “Maple Leaf Rag,” “When the Saints Go Marching In” and “Bill Bailey.”

8 ) What are the official marches of the armed services?

•“U.S. Field Artillery March” (Army), “Anchor’s Aweigh” (Navy), “U.S. Marines on Parade” (Marine Corps), “Army Air Corps March” (Air Force) and “Semper Paratus” (Coast Guard). Those marches will be performed during both concerts.

9) Which Sousa tune is the national march of the United States?

•By a 1987 act of the U.S. Congress, “The Stars and Stripes Forever” is the official national march of the United States of America. And it wouldn’t be the Fourth of July holiday week without hearing this tune a few times!

If you go:
What: Kenosha Pops Band performance (“A Patriotic Preview”)
When: 7 p.m. July 1
Where: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, 35th Street and Seventh Avenue
Admission: Free
Only at this concert: “Dixieland Jam,” featuring a dixieland combo made up of Pops members, will be performed.
Only at this concert II: The band runs a concession stand during Pennoyer Park performances, selling soda, candy and that world-famous Pops Band popcorn. (There won’t be Pops concessions on July 4, but you’ll find other food vendors at the lakefront.)
Only at this concert III: You could win a fabulous prize. The band asks a trivia question each week, with prizes including gift certificates to local restaurants. (There’s no trivia question at the July 4 concert.)

Pre-fireworks show (July 4):
What: Kenosha Pops Band’s July 4 performance (“An American Salute”)
When: 7 p.m. July 4
Where: Wolfenbuttel Park on Kenosha’s lakefront, 5801 Third Ave.
Only at this concert: The July 4 concert ends with the band’s annual “Salute to the Services Medley,” finishing with an echo “Taps,” the national anthem and “Stars and Stripes Forever.” (Those pieces will also be performed during the July 1 concert, but not as a grand finale medley.)
Only at this concert II: The Patriot Guard Riders will give a presentation at the concert intermission and will stand with the Pops to salute our veterans.

Only at this concert III: Fireworks will start about 9:30 p.m., after the concert, and are visible all along the lakefront.

Continental Band performing July 4:
Before the Pops Band’s 7 p.m. July 4 concert, the Continental Recreation Band will perform, starting at 6:15 p.m. The Kenosha Unified School District summer band, made up of about 75 students who will be in seventh grade in the fall, is directed by Brittany Sebetic, a bass clarinet player with the Pops Band. She is an elementary band teacher at five KUSD schools. The Continental Band will perform a separate program, featuring “Crocodile Rock,” music from TV’s “Game of Thrones” and “The Muppets Show” theme. The band will then join the Pops Band on “Fanfare for the Unsung Hero” by Matt Conaway. The Continental Band has one more performance this summer: July 14 at Kemper Center, as part of the Band Boosters’ Ice Cream Social event.