A Summer Potpourri

A Summer Potpourri

The Kenosha Pops Concert Band continues its 90th season Wednesday with a “Summer Potpourri” theme.

The band’s musical director, Craig Gall, says: “We’re celebrating the Summer Solstice, which marks the first day of summer, with a traditional concert in the park.  That means we’ll be performing a mix of music.”

That mix includes four pieces directed by assistant conductor Garrett Kornman:

– John Williams’ march from the Steven Spielberg film flop “1941.” Kornman says this is one of his favorite pieces and is “a bad movie but a great march.”

– The Leroy Anderson piece “China Doll.”

– “A Disney Super Time,” which is a medley of songs from “Mary Poppins,” including “A Spoonful of Sugar,” “Feed the Birds” and “Chim Chim Cher-ee.”

– “Music for a Summer Night,” composed by Glenn Osser for a 1959 TV production. “It is a summer night — with the warm weather to prove it,” Kornman says.

Pieces Gall will lead the band on include:

– Selections from the Broadway musical “Les Miserables,” including “At the End of the Day,” “I Dreamed a Dream” and “Master of the House.” Every concert in the park, Gall says, should include at least one Broadway number.

– An audience sing-along to traditional favorites like “Toot, Toot, Tootsie.”

– “Green is Green,” an old Bohemian polka that was arranged for the Kenosha Pops Concert Band by Ernie Broeniman. He is the director of the Dorf Kapelle German band, whose members include Gall.

–”Zampa,” an overture to a French opera by composer Louis Joseph Ferdinand Hérold. Gall first played this piece as a high school band student and “really liked it.” This overture, he added, is the only portion of the opera that is still popular today. The piece features Chip Millholland on clarinet.

– Three pieces that are new to the Pops Band this summer: “You Raise Me Up,” featuring vocals by Greg Berg; a medley of songs by Elton John, including “Crocodile Rock” and “Candle in the Wind”; and “Volare,” an Italian ballad recorded by Dean Martin and other singers. The Italian version of the ballad won Record of the Year and Song of the Year during the first Grammy Awards, held on May 4, 1959, at Hollywood’s Beverly Hilton Hotel.  The song is the only foreign-language recording to achieve this honor. The song was also made famous by its use in a 1970s car commercial for the Plymouth Volare.

The Pops Band is also performing pieces to honor Sue Borger, a longtime band member in the bass clarinet section. Borger, who died last week after a battle with cancer, was also a former Pops Band board member and band president.

“Everyone in the Pops Band will miss Sue Borger tremendously,” Gall said. “She was a huge asset to this band and will be sorely missed.”

One of Borger’s favorite Pops pieces was Cole Porter’s “Begin the Beguine,” which is part of Wednesday’s program.

Also to honor Borger, the band is playing “Just a Closer Walk with Thee,” which Gall said has a bass clarinet part Borger particularly enjoyed. The piece features a Dixieland quartet of Tim Bell, clarinet; John Schoettler, trombone; John Sorensen, trumpet; and Paul Westphal, drum set.

Leroy Anderson’s “The Last Rose of Summer,” an arrangement by Leroy Anderson of a traditional Irish melody, “reminds me of Sue (Borger),” Gall said.  “It’s a very pretty arrangement” and will feature Kornman on alto saxophone.

The band’s program will end of the “Colonel Bogey March,” another Borger favorite and a British piece made famous in the movie “Bridge over the River Kwai.”

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.
Admission is free.

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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