Santa Maria Sun / Music
The following articles were printed from Santa Maria Sun [santamariasun.com] - Volume 14, Issue 15
Party with the PopsThe Lompoc Pops Orchestra opens Lompoc's Flower Festival week with a patriotic concert
By JOE PAYNE
The Lompoc Flower Festival theme this year is a “Patriotic Party.” That theme is being explored by none other than the Lompoc Pops Orchestra, which will be presenting an upcoming concert of patriotic and American music to serve as a kick-off event to a week of hometown celebration.
The Lompoc Pops Orchestra is modeled after the Boston Pops, which is an orchestra that doesn’t spend much time performing classical works, but rather revels in contemporary compositions usually created by Americans.
“Popular music is a broad definition,” said Glenn Newcomb, Lompoc Pops assistant conductor and librarian, “but it basically means music from Broadway musicals, movies, or music that is being sung on the radio.”
Much of the repertoire for the upcoming concert comes from the likes of John Philip Souza or even Lee Greenwood. A Pops orchestra is uninhibited in that way; the ensemble can handle large works, yet plays several shorter song selections.
“The theme this year is ‘patriotic party’ so our concert features a lot of American songs,” Newcomb said, “some patriotic, but music that people will hear and know it’s American.”
To help round out the set will be UC Santa Barbara vocalist Bryan Lane, who will be joining the ensemble for three songs.
“He is a graduate student in music at UCSB and he’s singing three pieces with the orchestra; we always try to do that,” Newcomb said. “He’s singing ‘Some Enchanted Evening,’ from the musical South Pacific, ‘Bring Him Home’ from Les Miserables, and ‘I’ll Be Seeing You.’”
The last song, Newcomb explained, serves as a tribute to the late Leonard Todd, who was a regular and substantial donor to the Lompoc Pops Orchestra.
“The Pops has survived because we have very generous donors in Lompoc,” Newcomb said. “That’s what helps; it’s the donors that do it.”
One donor, Newcomb explained, Louise Molath, not only contributed much during her lifetime, but she left money for the orchestra in her will after she passed away.
“She passed away and left money to several different organizations in her will, including the Pops,” he said, “and that has gone a long way in keeping us afloat.”
It’s the generosity of these donors that keeps the orchestra not just afloat, but accessible to much of the community in Lompoc.
“We try to keep the ticket prices low,” Newcomb said. “Our tickets are only $15, so the tickets don’t cover the expenses, but they make it more available [to the public] to buy.”
Musicians with the Pops don’t limit their involvement to paid performances; they also volunteer their time and talents to youth outreach.
“One of the things that we do is that we help support the schools,” Newcomb said. “We send some musicians out to the schools to do assemblies, so it really is a very community-oriented group.”
With the community of Lompoc at its center, it’s no surprise that the Pops dedicated its last concert of the season to opening the Lompoc Flower Festival week. The Flower Festival is historically Lompoc’s biggest community event, celebrating the main crop of the valley.
“People seem to really enjoy the concerts and that is nice,” Newcomb said. “Having been a teacher myself, I think it’s important for the young people to be able to look up to an adult group in the community. That’s why, once a year, we invite the top high school to come and join us on a concert.”
What’s old is new
Herrick performs contemporary country music in concert on June 20 at 7:30 p.m. at the Ranch and Reata Roadhouse, 3569 Sagunto St., Santa Ynez. More info: 691-9663 or herrick
Music with super powers
Stan Lee’s Power Concerts comes to Santa Maria with a benefit for military personnel featuring contemporary rock band Daughtry performing live on June 22 at the Elks Unocal Event Center, Highway 101, Santa Maria Way Exit, Santa Maria. Call for times. More info: stanleespowerconcerts.com.
An evening of metal
The Chumash Casino and Resort presents heavy metal groups Great White and Slaughter performing live on June 27 at 8 p.m. at the Chumash Casino Resort, 2400 E. Highway 246, Santa Ynez. Cost is $25. More info: 1-800-CHUMASH or chumashcasino.copm.
Gather poets and musicians
Lucia’s Wine Co. offers open mic nights featuring wine, poetry, and live music on Wednesdays at 5:30 p.m. at the tasting room, 126 E. Clark Ave., Orcutt. More info: 332-3080.
A perfect pairing
The Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro presents “Wine Down Wednesdays” featuring live music on Wednesdays from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Addamo Tasting Room and Bistro, located at 400 E. Clark Ave., Old Orcutt. Free. More info: 937-6400 or Bethany@addamovineyards.com.
Contact Arts Editor Joe Payne at email@example.com.