Urbana Pops launches fifth season
URBANA — The Urbana Pops Orchestra will kick off its fifth season at 7 p.m. Saturday with the concert "Sounds of Adventure" in the Urbana High School auditorium.
The doors will open at 6:30 p.m. for a pre-show performance of the Community Center for the Art's Bow-Dacious String Band. They also will perform a piece with the entire Pops orchestra in the second half.
Orchestral selections at the concert will include themes from the scores of several films such as "Lord of the Rings," "Jurassic Park," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," "Chronicles of Narnia" and "Robin Hood."
Also part of the program: The premier performance of "Dawn in the Warm Wyalusing Spring" composed by Noah Scott Larson, 15, of Champaign. Larson, who will be a junior at University Laboratory High School in the fall, is the junior division winner of the Urbana Pops Orchestra composition contest, judged by professional composers not associated with the orchestra.
"Noah continues to amaze us with his musical talent," said Stephen Larson (no relation), associate conductor of Urbana Pops and coordinator of the composition contest. "He has played the violin with Urbana Pops ever since our first concert in 2010 when he was only in sixth grade.
"Noah also co-founded and co-conducts the St. Patrick's Youth Orchestra. He also played drums in the pit orchestra last year for Urbana Park District's production of 'Music Man.' That's pretty remarkable."
Larson's piece will end the first half of the concert. In the second half, Urbana Pops will be joined by the Bow-Dacious String Band on "Caravan" by Duke Ellington.
And bass vocalist Timothy Schmidt will sing several pieces, including "If I Can't Love Her" from "Beauty and the Beast." Schmidt is an assistant professor of music at Southeast Missouri State University; he has a doctoral of musical arts degree in voice performance and literature from the University of Illinois.
Tickets for general seating may be purchased via UrbanaPops.org or at the door. Adult tickets are $15 each. Tickets for adults 65 years and older, children, and students with an ID are $10 each.
The 2014 Urbana Pops season is supported in part by a city of Urbana arts grant. The orchestra's second concert, on July 5, will be offered for free, thanks to the Urbana grant. The orchestra plans to dedicate that concert to the memory of Gregory Chew, for his contributions to the orchestra and the Urbana Arts Commission. Mr. Chew, who had been drama director and an English teacher at Urbana High for 35 years, died May 14.
The Urbana Pops Orchestra is affiliated with the Urbana park and school districts. For more information, visit UrbanaPops.org.