Tuesday, October 17th, 2017

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Cleveland POPS Orchestra “Gin & Jazz Soiree”

 

The Cleveland POPS Orchestra’s annual fundraiser turned Stillwater Place on the grounds of the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo into a grand Gatsby-esque gala. Part cocktail hour, part costume party, feather boas, and fedoras were in abundance, and wow – “ain’t we got fun.”

About 200 patrons enjoyed the open bar and passed hors d’oeuvres as they looked over the silent auction items and were entertained by background music provided by a few orchestra members.

‘Sheiks and shebas’ had a toot of champagne with their dinner entrees, braised short ribs and chicken with buerre, and the ice cream sundae bar for dessert was the bee’s knees. But the real treat of the evening was the intimate concert performed by 30 accomplished musicians – a chance to experience the POPS ‘in person’ rather than in a concert hall.

The program started with an Irving Berlin medley and ended with Louis Prima’s “Sing, Sing, Sing.” In between, guests were treated to performances by two POPS scholarship winners, vocalist Sarah Parker, a music and business major at Vanderbilt, and vocalist J. R. Heckman, a junior at Solon High School, who absolutely stunned the audience with their performances.

The POPS will begin their 22nd season in October. Seven concerts will include traditional holiday, Broadway and Armed Forces themes, but will also honor the legacies of great American composers Jerry Herman and Leonard Bernstein. The organization coordinates an annual scholarship competition for performers up to age 18, and they offer half a dozen free concerts every year throughout the area. The POPS also manages an in-school music program called Actual Music for children pre-K through 3rd grade, to develop an appreciation of live music in young students.

Organizers of the Gin and Jazz soiree aimed to raise $150,000 for general operating expenses, and education and scholarship programs administrated by the Cleveland POPS Orchestra.

STORY AND PHOTOGRAPHS BY RITA KUEBER

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