Canadian Pianist Tops Pops Season Finale on May 2

by April 2, 2009 • 0 comments

christine_yoshiaspub_col3In regular concerto engagements and recitals in major halls around the world, Canadian pianist Christine Mari Yoshikawa has quickly established herself as one of Canada’s most sought-after young pianists.

She will be the featured soloist during “Music of the Night,” the final concert of the season by The Panama City POPS, Saturday, May 2, 2009, 7:30 pm at the Arnold High School Auditorium.

Building on its best season yet, which has featured world premiers and guest composer appearances, The POPS will finish the schedule with a night replete with romantic overtones.

The evening’s highlight will be a twenty-minute POPS medley entitled, “A Tribute to Gershwin.” The arrangement, by composer Jack Jarrett of the Berklee College of Music, has been performed internationally.

“Gershwin’s music remains as some of the most popular work of the Twentieth Century,” comments Maestro Eddie Rackley.  “What set Gershwin apart was his ability to manipulate forms of music into his own unique voice, and what makes this medley really special is Jack Jarrett’s masterful interpretation.”  The POPS Chorale will accompany the orchestra for the ambitious finale.

“The entire evening will have the feeling of romance,” states Rackley, “even in the classical sections.”  Concert-goers may expect to hear everything from Tchaikovsky to Kevin Kaska, whose “Golden Falcon Prelude” was premiered by The POPS in its season opener.

Mr. Kaska also wrote a commissioned piece for the Panama City Centennial concert entitled “Emerald Jubilee.”  The piece received a rousing ovation.  For the final concert Rackley decided
to include another arrangement by Kaska, “I’m Glad There is You,” the Sinatra standard whose new arrangement was commissioned by The Boston Pops as an encore to one of its concerts.  The composition is a jazz/Latin fusion piece featuring jazz piano and trumpet with full symphonic orchestra.

“This has been a wonderful year for The Panama City POPS,” remarks Victoria Williams, President of the organization’s Board of Directors.  “The musicians have never sounded better and our community has recognized just how talented our local orchestra truly is.  We look forward to another outstanding season.”

Established as a mentoring orchestra, The Panama City POPS invites advanced student musicians of all ages to audition.  If qualified, they are mentored by current POPS musicians who help guide and teach them while giving them the opportunity to play and perform with an orchestra.

Also that evening, The Panama City POPS will conduct its second annual silent auction in collaboration with the Visual Arts Center.  The painting, “Nature’s Symphony” by local artist, Kim Griffin, is the featured work of art on this season’s Panama City POPS Orchestra brochure, program covers and television commercials.  The original artwork will be on display at the Visual Arts Center in downtown Panama City until the final POPS concert on May 2.  More info on the artwork and auction is available at

Individual tickets for the May 2 concert are $25 for adults, $18 for over age 65 or active military, and $10 for ages under 12, and are on sale now at or by calling
(850) 785-POPS (7677).

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