Panama City Pops Lauches Centennial Celebration

by January 8, 2009 • 0 comments

010809_popsThe Marina Civic Center will be alive with the sounds of The Panama City POPS “Sentimental Journey,” the orchestra’s centennial celebration Saturday, January 10, 2009, at 7:30 pm.

The evening promises to be an exciting one.  An officially sanctioned orchestra of the 2009 Panama City Centennial Celebration, The POPS will perform music from every decade of the last 100 years.  “It will be a very recognizable and thoroughly enjoyable program,” stated Maestro Eddie Rackley.  “The POPS will perform classical favorites by the likes of Strauss and Haydn, as well as sounds from the Big Band era, jazz and folk pieces, even Latin and rock.”

The highlight of the program will be the performance of two pieces specially commissioned for this event.  American conductor, composer and pianist, Louis Stewart, has written “Music for Panama City,” a Copland-esque composition echoing the sounds of the dean of American composers.   The second piece, “Emerald Jubilee”  has been composed by Kevin Kaska, whose “Golden Falcon Prelude” was debuted in at The POPS opening concert in October.

Louis Stewart, 64, is a native of Aberdeen, WA.  Currently an Associate Professor on the faculty of the Berklee College of Music, he is a graduate of the New England Conservatory in Boston and the Peabody Institute in Baltimore.  Specializing in new music, he has conducted and played premieres in New York, Seattle, Boston and Baltimore, and has guest conducted in the United States and Southeast Asia.

From 1971 to 1977 Mr. Stewart was pianist and assistant conductor with the Martha Graham Dance Company where he was involved with several revivals, premieres and international tours.  In 1976 he was invited to play a performance at the White House as part of a special ceremony honoring Martha Graham.  He has also authored two film and several theatrical scores, and is a recording artist for Denouement Records.

Kaska, 36, is a native of Seattle, WA.  While in high school he was the only protégé of  Hollywood composer-arranger, Vic Schoen.  He studied film composition at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.  While in Boston he formed his own jazz orchestra playing the music of Stan Kenton.

Mr. Kaska’s orchestral compositions, arrangements and orchestrations have been played worldwide by orchestras including John Williams and Keith Lockhart the Boston POPS Orchestra, the Seattle Philharmonic, Orchestra X in Houston, Phoenix Symphony, Jacksonville Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, the London Symphony Orchestra and Royal Scottish National Orchestra, as well as Maynard Ferguson and the Big Bop Nouveau Band and Skitch Henderson and the New York Pops at Carnegie Hall.

“This concert will have something for everyone,” stated Rackley.  “Aficionados and nescients alike will be delighted and dazzled by the evening’s program.  It will be a wonderful tribute to Panama City.”

Individual tickets to the January 10 Centennial Celebration performance are $40 for adults,
$35 for over age 65 or active military, and $10 for ages under 12, and are on sale now at the Marina Civic Center, 850-763-4696 or www.marinaciviccenter.com.

For more information see www.panamacitypops.org or call (850) 785-POPS (7677).

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