Our 2017-18 Season
Last year was the first year the Pops had ever hosted a “tribute act,” and our time with “Bob Hope” was exceptional, so I was very excited when we were able to match a performance date with Neil Diamond tribute artist Bobby Palermo. Its a perfect fit for our seasoned Pops Orchestra audience and our collaboration with the Sarasota Military Officers Association to revive our popular Veterans Day show. “Neil” will sing all of his hits with the orchestra, and will highlight a salute to our Veterans by singing his song America, Lee Greenwood’s God Bless the USA, an original song called Heros, and many more patriotic numbers.
In April of 2016, the Choral Artists of Sarasota (formally known as Gloria Musicae) performed an operetta called Barnum’s Bird. The lead soprano in that production was Jenny Kim-Godfrey and I remember sitting in the audience of that performance thinking, “Man! I would LOVE to have her perform with the Pops!” As Jenny and I talked about the season options for her, it became apparent that she would make a wonderful guest artist for our traditional holiday show. She has picked out some fantastic holiday songs to perform for you as well as a few opera arias that will sweep you off your feet. A true artistic star in our community, I am thrilled to be performing our holiday show with Jenny.
I first met with Audrey Landers when we were putting together the Bob Hope USO style show we performed last November (and I have to admit, I was a bit star struck!). At first, I thought she might want to perform a song or two on that show since she had toured with Bob Hope, but it quickly became apparent that Audrey Landers needed her own Pops show — and that’s just what we’ve done. She is going to be a spectacular guest artist for our Valentines Pops show…I might have to buy a new outfit for that one. Think she will take me shopping?? 🙂
Dick Hyman is a jazz icon and we are so fortunate that his performance calendar lined up with our finale concert. The orchestra absolutely loves performing with musicians of his caliber and I can already attest that they are gearing up for this one. He will perform many jazz standards on the piano with the orchestra, but we will also be playing several of his original compositions. It will be a musical highlight for all of us.
Where has the past seven years gone? Its hard to count all of the musicians that have been in the orchestra, the many guest artists that have performed with us, and the thousands of patrons who have laughed, clapped, cheered, and enjoyed the shows we have put together for them. It is always such a pleasure to devise a program with the audience’s interests in mind. I always sit at my desk and think, “Now, what kind of music would they enjoy this year?” And I can’t help but think that this could be the most enjoyable year yet. Its a season of celebrities and I hope all of Sarasota and Bradenton can enjoy it with us.