July 4, 2016
Free admission. No tickets are required.
As Phil Bowhay wrote in the Monterey Herald of June 6, 2016, “If you missed the Memorial Day concert on Colton Hall Lawn, don’t despair! You’ll have another chance on the Fourth of July at the Golden State Theatre, also free! And if you were there, you will for sure be there on the 4th!”
Bowhay continued, “Friends, I can tell you that the Monterey County Pops Band is just about the best you will ever hear, and I’ve heard a lot of bands.”
The Monterey County Pops! is pleased to present this blockbuster musical extravaganza free of charge to the community. In addition to the orchestra playing patriotic favorites and “pops” classics by Rossini and Mussorgsky, the 90-minute program will feature four outstanding soloists, the orchestra’s Youth Chorus, and a 25-member Ballet Folklorico from King City. This is the largest number of guest performers ever included during the 31-year history of Monterey County Pops! free public concerts!
The 40-member fully professional orchestra conducted by Monterey County Pops! Music Director, Dr. Carl Christensen, will present a program of pops, patriotic, and Americana favorites. Featured soloists include the youth Ballet Folklórico Tapatío from King City, Verenice Amezcua, director; vocalist, Mia Pak; harpist, Tara Ragsdale-Cronin; cellist, Devin LaMarr; violinist, Clarece LaMarr; and the Monterey County Pops!/Community Partnership for Youth Chorus conducted by MaryClare Martin.
A pre-concert performance on the theater’s mighty Wurlitzer Organ will be presented by noted local organist, Tom Delay.
Musical highlights —“Victory at Sea” by Richard Rodgers, “The Entertainer” by Scott Joplin, the “Overture to William Tell” by Rossini, and “The American Frontier”, a medley of traditional melodies such as “Oh Susanna” and “Shenandoah”, and John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever March”.
The program will conclude with the Mussorgsky’s “The Great Gate of Kiev” complete with electronic church bells and colorful projections of fireworks and patriotic images.
Featured special guest on the program will be the youth Ballet Folklórico Tapatío from King City, Verenice Amezcua, director. Wearing colorful regional costumes, the 25-member group will dance to three traditional Mexican songs, “La Culebra”, “Vuela Paloma”, and “Jarabe Taptio.” 18-year-old Lesley Amezcua will appear as soloist in “Vuela Paloma.” Dr. Christensen has worked closely with Verenica Amezcua to create symphonic arrangements that complement the choreography of the dances.
The concert will include a “command performance” by vocalist Mia Pak who will reprise her Memorial Day rendition of Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America.” As the Monterey Herald put it, “Be prepared for goosebumps when 17-year-old Mia Pak hits the high notes.”
Young harpist, Tara Ragsdale-Cronin, will perform with the orchestra a special arrangement of the Led Zeppelin song, “Stairway to Heaven.” Tara’s harp teacher, Jennifer Cass, herself a graduate of the Eastman School of Music, commented, “Tara is a joy to teach. Her talent and dedication to the harp are exceptional.” The harp goes everywhere with Tara, even on family vacations!
The Youth Chorus will perform several selections including their theme song, “Music All Over Me”, accompanied by the Monterey County Pops! orchestra playing special arrangements written by Dr. Christensen especially for this concert. The Chorus consists of young people participating in programs of “Community Partnership for Youth” and is co-sponsored by CPY and the Monterey County Pops!