Opening Night!


The Kenosha Pops Concert Band is opening its 90th season on June 13.  The “Opening Night” concert has a Broadway theme.

The band’s musical director, Craig Gall, says: “I’m looking forward to another summer of fun concerts. And we’re  hoping for a season of good weather.” This Broadway theme, he added, was supposed to open the band’s 2011 season — but it was rained out.

“We’ve added a few twists to the concert, but it’s mostly what we planned for last summer. So people will not have missed a thing.”

Adds assistant conductor Garrett Kornman: “I can’t believe it’s the start of another Pops Band season. It seems to come so fast every year.”

At the June 13 concert, Gall will lead the band on:

  • “Broadway One-Step,” which Gall calls “a jazzy, ragtime march by the great march composer K.L. King.”
  • “Stout Hearted Men” by Sigmund Romberg – from the 1928 Broadway show “The New Moon.”
  • A medley of tunes from “South Pacific” – featuring vocals by the band’s master of ceremonies, Greg Berg.
  • It’s a night of medleys, including – fittingly for a season opener – “Curtain Up!” which features “Let Me Entertain You,” “Gigi” and “I Could Have Danced All Night.”
  • Another medley contains excerpts from the Broadway musical “Brigadoon.”
  • The program also features Leroy Anderson’s unique arrangement of “Seventy Six Trombones” from “The Music Man.” Gall says this arrangement — which weaves in snippets of other marches — was written for the Boston Pops.
  • Another medley on the program contains tunes from “Fiddler on the Roof,” featuring familiar tunes from the Broadway classic.
  • 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 landmark Broadway musical “A Chorus Line.” This piece was arranged for Thorson by her nephew, Joshua Gallagher, a graduate of the Berklee College of Music.
  • Gall also has a new piece — “Opening Night on Broadway” — which is a medley of recent Broadway shows, with songs from “The Producers” (“Springtim for Hitler”), “Avenue Q,” “Spamalot” (“Always Look on the Bright Side of Life”), “Wicked” (“For Good”) and “The Lion King” (“Circle of Life”).


Kornman  is leading the band on:

– Highlights from the musical “Chicago,” including “All That Jazz,” “Cell Block Tango” and “Roxie.” The Broadway how by Fred Ebb and John Kander dates back to the 1970s, Kornman said, and then it gained new fans when the movie adaptation won the 2002 Academy Award for best picture.  It was also recently performed on stage by the Racine Theatre Guild.

– A medley of tunes from “Bye Bye Birdie,” including “Put on a Happy Face” and “Kids.”

– The fast-moving tune “America” from “West Side Story.”

– Leroy Anderson’s “Pyramid Dance.” This piece, Kornman said, is from Anderson’s only Broadway musical — the 1958 flop “Goldilocks,” which starred Kenosha native Don Ameche.

One piece on the program does break with the Broadway theme. The band is performing John Philip Sousa’ “Transit of Venus” march to mark last week’s transit of Venus, when the planet Venus appears as a small, dark disk moving across the face of the sun. Transits of Venus are among the rarest of predictable celestial phenomena and occur in pairs, eight years apart, which are themselves separated by more than a century. The previous transit of Venus took place on June 8, 2004, and the next pair of transits will occur in December 2117 and December 2125.

Before the 7 p.m. concert, the Lance Middle School Wind Ensemble will perform, starting at 6:15 p.m.

The Lance group is directed by Kathy Ripley, a member of the Pops Band’s flute section. Her group is performing “Normandy Beach” by John Edmonds, the finale from Stravinsky’s “The Firebird,” highlights from Rodgers and
Hammerstein’s “The Sound of Music” and “African Samba” by Adam Gorb. Also, Ripley’s daughter, Jacy, a Lance alumnus, will be the featured sololist on LeRoy Anderson’s “Trumpeter’s Lullaby.” Jacy Ripley just completed her freshman year as a student at the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, N.Y., where she is studying Trumpet Performance.

The Kenosha Pops Band performs at 7 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 8. All the performances — except the July 4th pre-fireworks concert — are on the band shell in Pennoyer Park, located at 35th Street and Seventh Avenue on Kenosha’s lakefront.

During the performances, the Pops Band operates a concession stand, offering popcorn, candy, soda, coffee and water. Also, parking is allowed on both sides of Seventh Avenue durings Pops concerts.

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