Pops in the Park -- 10 years of enriching lives

By Hank Lohmeyer

Pops in the Park -- 10 years of enriching lives  | Cedaredge, Musicians,

Photo by Hank Lohmeyer Symphonic sounds The 10th annual Pops in the Park concert at Cedaredge brought a summertime symphonic interlude to Surface Creek Valley last Saturday.

One of Surface Creek Valley's notable lifestyle enhancements took place last Saturday in Cedaredge Town Park.

The 10th annual Pops in the Park concert by the Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus brought a large number of people with chairs, coolers filled with snacks, and their umbrellas for an evening of symphonic music and song.

Among the event's sponsors is the Cedaredge Area Chamber of Commerce. Chamber President Nick Streza called hosting the event "the right thing for the chamber to do." Though the free concert generates no revenue for the chamber Streza noted, its unique quality of life contribution of a summertime outdoor symphony on a grassy knoll, and its popularity make it a must-do project. Members of the orchestra and chorus donate their time for the performance.

Music lovers began arriving more than an hour early and setting up chairs and socializing with friends. The audience almost filled the park area between the bandstand and the sidewalk with a good bit of overflow besides.

Most came prepared with umbrellas for the brief rain shower that moved through the area just prior to the performance. But the show, of course, must go on -- and it did.

The program included a medley of numbers by Lerner and Loewe; some selections that symphony conductor Mike Kern termed as "movie music" and which had a definite John Williams flavor to them; a John Philip Sousa march; and George Gershwin's "Summertime" sung by Valley Chorus director Allyson Connally, all of which took place before intermission.

The second half of the evening's entertainment included an upbeat interlude of vocal number selections by the chorus, and then the orchestra played some show tunes, a bit of Americana, and finally "America The Beautiful" concluded by a traditional salvo from Mark's Eckhart's miniature canon.