//VSU hosts free “Pops in the Park” musical presentation

VSU hosts free “Pops in the Park” musical presentation

Share with friends


VSU Department of Music Presents Free Pops in the Park Oct. 8

VALDOSTA — The Department of Music at Valdosta State University will host Pops in the Park at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 8, at the College of the Arts Outdoor Amphitheater. Admission is free of charge and open to the public.  

Pops in the Park will feature entertaining performances by VSU’s Steel Band, Wind Ensemble, and Spotlighters.  

“The Steel Band will provide some fun and light pre-concert music,” shared Dr. Ryan Smith, assistant professor of percussion at VSU. “Our music is selected from traditional island tunes, rock and popular tunes, and newer original tunes for steel drum ensemble. Musically, we try to provide a diverse musical experience for the students and a fun and engaging experience for audiences of all ages.” 

The 12-member Steel Band’s set list includes “Brown Eyed Girl” by Van Morrison, “Don’t Stop Believin’” by Journey, and “Jump in the Line (Shake Senora)” by Harry Belafonte.   

The Wind Ensemble’s performance will re-create “the type of performance presented by community bands 100 years ago, including feature soloists and performances of marches and orchestral transcriptions,” said Dr. Benjamin Harper, conductor, assistant professor of music, and director of bands at VSU. It will also commemorate the 100-year anniversary of the day Karl L. King, famed circus band composer and conductor, arrived in Fort Dodge, Iowa, to lead the Fort Dodge Municipal Band, a position he held for 51 years. 

“His contributions to the community and municipal band movement are incalculable,” Harper added.    

The Wind Ensemble’s set list includes the following: 

  • “Star-Spangled Banner” by Francis Scott Key; 
  • “Barnum and Bailey’s Favorite” by Karl King; 
  • “Annie Laurie” by Arthur Pryor, featuring Doug Farwell, head of the Department of Music at VSU, on trombone and guest conductor Skye Holmes, assistant director of bands at VSU; 
  • “Someone to Watch Over Me” by George and Ira Gershwin, featuring Lara Wilson, soprano and voice professor at VSU; 
  • “Light Calvary” Overture by Franz von Suppé, featuring guest conductor Thetheus White, graduate student in conducting at VSU; 
  • “Trombone King” by Karl King; 
  • “Bride of the Waves” by Herbert Clarke, featuring Javian Brabham, trumpet professor at VSU; 
  • “Blue Skies” by Irving Berlin, arranged by David Springfield, jazz professor at VSU and featuring Lara Wilson, soprano and voice professor at VSU; 
  • “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.     

“Spotlighters will present a great short set of pop and jazz arrangements that will be entertaining for everyone,” shared Dr. Clell Wright, director of choral activities. 

The 12-member Spotlighters will perform “a wonderful jazz setting of Paul McCartney and John Lennon’s ‘If I Fell in Love with You,’ Pentatonix’s setting of ‘Cracked,’ Mahalia Jackson’s ‘Precious Lord,’ and a new composition by one of our own students, Spencer Phinazee, a music educator major from Ellerslie, Georgia.”  

Pops in the Park attendees are welcome to bring their chairs, pillows, and blankets and enjoy an evening of musical performances in the fall fresh air.  

The College of the Arts Outdoor Amphitheater is located in the grassy area between the Fine Arts Building and Odum Library on VSU’s Main Campus.  

For the health and safety of everyone attending Pops in the Park, social distancing will be enforced. When social distancing is not possible outdoors, University System of Georgia policy states that masks covering the nose and mouth are required to be worn on the VSU campus. Masks are required all the time inside VSU facilities.