Memorial Day 2017
32nd ANNUAL FREE MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT
Monterey County Pops! will present its 32nd annual FREE Memorial Day concert titled “To Remember and Honor” on Monday, May 29, 2017 at 2:00 p.m. on the Monterey City Hall Great Lawn. The popular local Monterey Peninsula Cypressaires Barbershop Chorus will entertain at 1:00 p.m.
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 Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian; the young musicians of Orchestra in the Schools; youth vocalist, Mia Pak; La Rondalla del Centro de Bellas Artes Alisal; and the Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus conducted by Juan Sánchez.
Musical highlights will include “Parade of the Tall Ships” composed for the 1976 bicentennial celebrations, “A Night at the Movies” featuring music composed by Emmy-Winning film composer and local resident, Alan Silvestri, “Symphonic Dance Music” from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story”, “Hands Across the Sea” and “High School Cadets” marches by John Philip Sousa, and “America the Beautiful” in a stunning arrangement by Carmen Dragon.
Further patriotic selections include “God Bless America”, “The National Anthem”, “The Armed Forces Salute”, “The Navy Hymn”, “Taps”, and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
The Youth Chorus will perform “Muros y Puertas/Walls and Doors” and “The Greatest” 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 “Palenke Arts” and “Community Partnership for Youth” in Seaside and is co-sponsored by the Monterey County Pops! and Palenke Arts. They have been rehearsing for the last two months with their conductor, Juan Sánchez.
A Rondalla is a youthful ensemble in which all members sing and play guitar. La Rondalla del Centro de Bellas Artes Alisal will join with Monterey County Pops! to perform “Perfume de Gardenia” by Rafael Hernandez and “Como Imaginar” as adapted by the Rondalla de Saltillo. The Alisal Center for Fine Arts (ACFA) works to “cultivate youth leaders committed to cultural affirmation and community transformation” in the East Alisal/Acosta Plaza area of Salinas, an area challenged by poverty and gang violence. Monterey County Pops! is proud to have begun a collaboration with ACFA in October of 2016 when it presented a free family concert at the Center which featured ACFA students performing alongside the professional musicians. The Rondalla has performed with Monterey County Pops! on several subsequent concerts.
Blue Grass fiddler, Laura Burian, will perform a medley of three fiddle tunes: Danny Boy, Elzik’s Farewell, and Vladimir’s Steamboat. Laura is a long-time member of the popular local band, Heartstrings, and is a professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey where she teaches simultaneous and consecutive interpretation of Chinese and English.
Mia Pak will sing the National Anthem as well as “God Bless America” and “At Last”, the big band-era classic popularized by Etta James. Mia Pak is an 18-year-old high school junior who has been performing locally at Pacific Repertory Theater since she was nine years old. She appeared recently in “Heathers, the Musical” and as Mulan in “Mulan” at Pac Rep. Last year she was a Silver Medalist at the National Young Artists Competition in Miami. She studies with Metropolitan Opera Mezzo Soprano and Carmel resident, Susanne Mentzer.
Monterey County Pops! will be joined by 35 young musicians from Orchestra in the Schools in performances of “Village Festival” based on a Czech folk song and themes from Dvorak’s “New World Symphony.” Orchestra in the Schools, based in Seaside, is made up of a culturally and economically diverse group of 80 young musicians in grades 3-10 attending 24 different home, public, and private schools, many of which do not include music as part of the regular curriculum.
CONTACTS FOR INTERVIEWS:
Board President – Ken White (831) 624-4538
Board Vice President – Doug Lee (831) 373-8550
Conductor – Carl Christensen (831) 484-5511
Community Partnership for Youth
Shari Hastey, Executive Director (831) 394-4279
Monterey County Pops!/Palenke Arts Youth Chorus
Juan Sánchez, Chorus Director (831) 899-9909