Musical Musings

Pops 2021-2022: Join Our Jubilation

Previews by Betsy Hudson Traba

by Betsy Hudson Traba, Principal Flute

As a classical flutist, I am sometimes asked if I enjoy performing pops programs, where the music is lighter, and the woodwind section is rarely featured. The answer is a resounding yes!

The combination of great vocalists and popular works that appeal to multiple generations creates a light-hearted and jubilant experience for our audiences, so you can rest assured that the orchestral musicians on stage are having just as good a time as you are! Many of us grew up listening to a wide variety of music, and still do. The chance to share the stage with gifted artists from other genres and support them while they “do their thing” is always a treat for us. If you look closely, you’ll quite possibly see this flute player singing along (quietly) during rests — especially to any music from the 1970s or ‘80s!

This coming season, our Pops series has three blockbuster programs planned. Broadway conductor William Waldrop has served as Assistant Conductor for Phantom of the Opera as well as Music Director for a 2017 Broadway revival of Cats. When he’s not in the Broadway orchestra pit, he’s touring the country with one of several orchestral pops programs. January 2022 will see him on the podium for Revolution: The Music of The Beatles, a spectacular symphonic tribute to The Beatles’ original Abbey Road recordings. This concert will likely find you and me both singing along in our seats!

March 2022 will bring Broadway stars Susan Egan, Doug LaBrecque, and Lisa Vroman to Sarasota for The Envelope Please, a program of songs that were Grammy, Tony, and Oscar winners. Egan, who was the original Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, along with LaBrecque and Vroman, both from Phantom of the Opera, will share not only their powerful voices, but also their stories from countless hours in the spotlight. Join us for an evening of triumphant music, commanding vocals, and intimate conversations with three spectacular artists.

If the songs of Frank Sinatra and Nat King Cole bring a smile to your face or a tear to your eye, you will not want to miss Unforgettable: The American Songbook. Celebrated conductor and arranger Sean O’Loughlin has traveled the country performing with everyone from Josh Groban to Adele, and orchestras around the world have played his pops arrangements. In April 2022, he brings his music and personality to Sarasota in a program dedicated to the most cherished popular tunes and jazz standards from the early 20th century. Nick Ziobro and Julia Goodwin, rising vocal stars and 21st-century devotees of this great music, will bring your favorite songs to life in a program that should prove truly “Unforgettable!”

We hope you’ll join us!

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Special Events

Join us to celebrate our 75th Anniversary at these exciting events.


Dinner Series
Six Dinners throughout the season

Orchestra Brunch
Sunday, November 12, 2023

Celebrate 75 Concert and Gala
Thursday, February 15, 2024

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Our mission is to engage, educate, and enrich our community through high-quality, live musical experiences.

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