The Fond du Lac Symphonic Band will present its 39th annual Spring Pops Concert on Sunday, April 8. Under the direction of Music Director Dale Shipe and Associate Conductor Jill Wagner, the event is slated for 3:00 p.m. at the FdL High School Performing Arts Center, 801 Campus Drive.
Fond du Lac native Jestin (Jesse) Pieper will return as featured soloist, performing George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue. Pieper first performed with the Symphonic Band in 2003, while he was a student at Fond du Lac High School. Since then his career in music has included a variety of experiences in the United States and Europe. Currently a resident of New York City, he is active in NYC’s classical music community as a concert and collaborative pianist, vocal coach, conductor and educator.
One of the earliest and most convincing examples of crossover music, Rhapsody in Blue has the infectious melodies and engaging rhythms of the best American jazz/popular music of the ‘20s and the scope and sweep of a romantic concerto. Rooted in two traditions but belonging to none, it has earned its rightful place among the most-performed and unique piano compositions of the 20th century.
The 1st Movement of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 will be uniquely staged as if it were a sporting event. Based on a script by master of parody Peter Schickele, the band will have an assist from commentators Steve Peterson and David Thompson and referee Jon Gilliland. The program also includes two selections by Leonard Bernstein in honor of his centennial year, and Irish Tune from County Derry and “Shepherds Hey” – English Morris Dance by Percy Grainger. Marches include La Rondana, a Spanish Pasacalle by Ferrer Ferran, and Solid Men to the Front by John Philip Sousa. Rounding out the concert fare are Pastime – A Salute to Baseball by Jack Stamp and a medley of Leroy Anderson favorites that includes Serenata, Syncopated Clock, Blue Tango and Buglers’ Holiday.
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 mailed to “Pops Sponsors, P O Box 1483, FdL WI 54936” or tickets purchased online at www.fdlsymphonicband.com.