38th Annual Pops Concert

Music Director Dale Shipe

Dale Shipe will make his debut as Music Director when the Fond du Lac Symphonic Band presents its Spring Pops Concert on Sunday, April 23. The 38th annual event is slated for 3:00 p.m. at the FdL High School Performing Arts Center, 801 Campus Drive.

Two internationally-known jazz artists from the Fox Valley will perform the musical poetry of Bob Dylan.   Vocalist Janet Planet has been heard around the world through her live performances and recordings. Described as a, “sultry vocalist with a vast repertoire of jazz, blues, and standards…with some Bob Dylan thrown in for good measure,” by New York Magazine, she performs regularly in New York City and at jazz festivals and universities around the country and is rated among the preeminent jazz vocalists of today.

Janet Planet & Tom Washatka
Janet Planet & Tom Washatka

The Dylan charts include Just Like a Woman, Song to Woody and It Takes a Lot to Laugh, It Takes a Train to Cry.  They were originally arranged for big band and adapted for concert band by Planet’s husband, Tom Washatka. An accomplished jazz musician who has been arranging, producing and recording music for almost four decades, Washatka will augment the vocals with riffs on tenor sax. The featured guests will also perform Mood for Love, a swinging Latin jazz number by Fond du Lac native Mario Freidel.

The Band will play Highlights from “Purlie”– a nostalgic mix of gospel, pop, and rhythm and blues from a 1970’s musical, and The Addison Red Line, an energetic tribute to the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory. (The Addison Red Line is the CTA train to Wrigley Field.)

Conductor Emeritus Ray Wifler will be on hand to conduct two pieces: a set of variations on the familiar Neopolitan song Funiculi Funicula, and Washington Grays, a masterful rouser of a march from 1861.

Two iconic pieces for concert band round out the program. Knightsbridge March by Eric Coates was the signature tune for the long-running British radio show: In Town Tonight. The Hounds of Spring by Alfred Reed is based on a poem about young love in the springtime. Reed’s musical portrait captures the twin elements of exuberant youthful gaiety and the sweetness of tender love.

There is no admission charge for the concert; a free-will offering will be received. Sponsors’ seating is available at $15 for main floor seating and $100 for a mezzanine box with seating for four. Sponsors receive a program listing and complimentary refreshments. Sponsors’ ticket requests may be purchased online or mailed to:

Pops Sponsors

P O Box 1483

Fond du Lac, WI 54936