The Kenosha Pops Concert Band “will try to prove the old saying — ‘opposites attract’ — is true,” says music director Craig Gall.
Tonight’s theme — “The Pops Play Reconcilable Differences” — goes back to “Roots,” the landmark 1977 TV miniseries.
“We’ve seen that music in the Pops Band’s library for years, but we could never think of a theme that would work with ‘Roots,’ ” Gall says of himself and assistant conductor Garrett Kornman.
The two come up with concert themes each spring and noticed the piece “Trees” — written by Oscar Rasbach, based on the poem by Joyce Kilmer — and figured “that’s the opposite of roots,” Gall said. (“Trees” will feature trombone soloist John Schoettler.)
“This is a brand new theme that should be entertaining for our audience,” Gall added.
Other opposite pairings on the program include:
n The theme from the movie “Summer of ’42” contrasted with “Winterscape,” featuring John Sorensen on the flugelhorn.n The concert band march “Sunburst” by Eric Osterling vs. “Moon River,” by Henry Mancini and Johnny Mercer. Lou Rugani is the vocalist on “Moon River.”n Rugani is also the vocalist on the American Songbook standard “Over the Rainbow,” which is paired with “Under the Sea” from Disney’s “The Little Mermaid.”n Leroy Anderson’s “Blue Tango,” paired with John Philip Sousa’s “The Black Horse Troop” march.
It’s black and blue … not really opposites,” Gall said, “though they are reconcilable.”
n The Sammy Nestico piece “American Spice,” paired with a medley of songs from the Broadway musical “Sweet Charity,” including “If My Friends Could See Me Now,” “It’s a Nice Face,” “I’m a Brass Band” and “Big Spender.”
“This is the first time ‘Sweet Charity’ has been played on the Pops stage in decades,” Gall said.
n “Cowboy Fantasy,” a Bill Holcombe piece that includes such familiar tunes as “Home on the Range,” “Red River Valley” and “The Streets of Lardeo,” opposite “Indian Love Call.” That song is from “Rose Marie,” which premiered on Broadway in 1924 and was filmed twice in 1928, once in 1936 and again in 1954. “Indian Love Call” became Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy’s “signature song.”
The program opens — and closes — with two pieces that are self-contained polar opposites.
Kornman will open the concert with “Alpha and Omega” by Paul Yoder. The piece contains the beginnings and endings of several well-known tunes.
Gall will close the program with “Sol Y Sombra.”
“It was written by American composer George Gates, who was writing in the paso doble style of music heard at bull fights. The title refers to the selling of tickets on the sunny or shady sides of the arena,” Gall said.
The June weather has also been a study in contrasts: The calendar says “summer in Wisconsin,” but — so far — most of the days have been more like “winter in foggy London town.”
Lou Rugani singing with Pops tonight
The Kenosha Pops Concert Band welcomes guest vocalist Lou Rugani, host of WLIP-AM 1050’s longtime radio show “Music of the Stars,” which airs Sunday mornings and afternoons. He also hosts “Remembering Kenosha” weekdays.Rugani will be singing two standards arranged for band: “Over the Rainbow” and “Moon River.”
If you go
What: The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s “Reconcilable Differences” concertWhen: 7 tonightWhere: The band shell in Pennoyer Park, Seventh Avenue and 35th Street on Kenosha’s lakefrontAdmission: FreeRain: If it rains, the concert is canceledNext concert: 7 p.m. July 2: “Patriotic Preview”
CYO Band selling ‘sack lunch’ before the concert
The CYO Band is selling a “sack lunch” for $7 before tonight’s Kenosha Pops Band concert. The meal — a hot beef sandwich with soda and chips — will be served from 4:30 to 7 p.m. in the St. Catherine Commons Community Room across the street from Pennoyer Park.Patrons can eat the meal in the community room or take it to the park. Funds raised will go to the Bob Willems Music Scholarship for the CYO Band. Willems, a longtime member of the Pops Band who died in the fall of 2009, was also a supporter of the CYO Band.(Note: The meal will be served even if the concert is rained out.)
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