The Kenosha Pops Concert Band will try, try again to open its 89th season on June 22 – if the weather cooperates! Because last week’s program season opener was rained out, Craig Gall, the band’s musical director, says, “We’re going to play tonight if at all possible.”
This week’s program is called “Rockin’ with the Pops Band” and is filled with “classic rock of the ’60s and ’70s,” Gall says.
At the June 22 concert, Gall will lead the band on several medleys, including:
- “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.
- “Pop and Rock Legends: Chicago,” an arrangement by John Wasson of tunes made famous by the band Chicago, including “Saturday in the Park” and “25 or 6 to 4.” The songs feature the band’s trumpet section.
- “Highlights from The Partridge Family,” featuring “I Think I Love You” and I Woke Up in Love This Morning.”
- “Tribute to Jim Croce,” including the songs “Time in a Bottle,” “Operator” and “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown.”
- “Summer of ’69,” arranged by Ted Ricketts. “This piece is brand new to the Pops music library this summer and features songs from the Woodstock era,” Gall says. The medley includes “With a Little Help From My Friends,” “Pinball Wizard,” “Somebody to Love,” “Proud Mary” and “Purple Haze” – featuring the unusual experience of hearing the Jimi Hendrix tune as played by a pops band.
Gall will also lead the band on “So Far Away” by Carole King; “Plymouth Rock (and Roll)” by Kenosha native Will Schaefer; and “Rainy Days and Mondays,” made famous by the Carpenters. (The late Schaefer, who enjoyed a lengthy career in composing songs for television and movies, was the guest conductor for a Kenosha Pops Band concert a few summers ago. He gave his extensive library of music to the Pops Band.) “And we didn’t want to forget the ‘fanilows’ in our audience,” Gall added, explaining why “I Write the Songs” – one of Barry Manilow’s signature hits – is on the program.
Gall jokes that “the rock classic ‘South Pacific’ is also on tonight’s program.” (The medley of tunes from the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical – featuring vocals by the band’s master of ceremonies, Greg Berg – is a holdover from last week’s canceled Broadway-themed concert.)
Assistant conductor Garrett Kornman is conducting the medley “Big Fun in the Sun,” containing the surfing classics “Barbara Ann,” “Surf City” and “Wipe Out.” Paul Griffin will be featured on the drum set on “Wipe Out” – and will be playing the drum set for the entire program.
Kornman is also leading the band on “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” a medley of songs by The Association – including “Windy,” “Cherish” and “Along Comes Mary” – and “I Don’t Know How to Love Him” from the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical “Jesus Christ Superstar.”
If the weather is bad, the concert will be canceled – but that can’t happen two weeks in a row, right?
Bob Willems fundraiser
Kenosha’s CYO Band will be serving a $5 “sack lunch” from 5 to 7 p.m. June 22, before the Pops Band concert. The roast beef sandwich, chips and soda meal will be served in the Community Room at St. Catherine Commons, located on Seventh Avenue across the street from Pennoyer Park.
The meal is a fundraiser for the CYO Band’s Bob Willems Scholarship Fund. Willems, who died in the fall of 2009, was a 55-year member of the Pops Band. He was also a longtime supporter of the CYO Band.