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Updated: Apr 11, 2023




Monterey City Hall Lawn

Monday, May 29, 2023 - From 1:00 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Monterey County Pops! President of the Board of Directors Steve DeCarli has announced the 36th annual Monterey County Pops! Memorial Day Concert on the Monterey City Hall Lawn. On Monday, May 29, 2023, the full 40-piece orchestra -- conducted and hosted by the award-winning Dr. Carl Christensen – will present an exciting program for all ages from 1 pm to 3 pm. The theme this year is "To Remember and Honor". Committed to their motto “Making a Difference Through Music,” the Pops! provides the entire concert free of charge. The concert will also be streamed live via our website and Channel 24.

The Memorial Day Concert opens at 1 pm with the Monterey Peninsula Gospel Community Choir, led by Founder and Director, John L. Nash Jr., with a great set of traditional favorites. The National Anthem will be sung by Jorge Torrez, a Salinas native who is currently the choir director at Santa Cruz High School, Aptos High School, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of the Monterey Peninsula.

The Monterey County Pops! Orchestra then performs a wide range of pops, patriotic, and Americana favorites -- starting with a stirring performance of the traditionalArmed Forces Salute” and inviting the audience to rise in tribute to family members who have served.

The orchestra follows the salute with marches by John Philip Sousa and Gustav Holst. The varied musical program also includes “American Pageant” by Thomas Knox, chief composer-arranger for the United State Marine Band. This medley of traditional melodies has been performed by the Marine Band at every presidential inaugural since 1973. In a special salute to School Music Education a medley of hits from “The Music Man” will be included.

Laura Burian is the featured soloist performing traditional American fiddle tunes accompanied by the Pops! Ms. Burian is the Dean of Teaching, Learning, and Faculty Development, and professor of Chinese/English translation and interpretation at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey. She is the violinist with Monterey Strings and the fiddler for Heartstrings Monterey. “The Lord of the Dance” from River Dance by Ronan Hardiman which combines American fiddle tunes with the Shaker hymn “Simple Gifts” will also be featured.

The extraordinary Monterey Peninsula Gospel Community Choir will join the Pops! to perform the traditional anthem “Lift Every Voice” and the ever-popular “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” The program concludes with “The Navy Hymn,”Taps,” and Sousa's “Stars and Stripes Forever.

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