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PSO June Pops Concert: Americana & More!



As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, we are thrilled to welcome back to the podium Maestro Charles Prince to conduct a concert of iconic American composers and other favorites. This concert will be livestreamed on June 26, 2021 at 7 pm performed by musicians of the Plainfield Symphony. Featured on this hour-long program will be the following works:


  • The Overture to Der Freischütz (The free-shooter) by Carl Maria Von Weber is a tortuous tale of magic bullets, invisible spirits, and pacts with the devil. While the full opera is rarely staged today, its overture remains one of Weber’s most popular orchestral works. It vividly depicts the two central elements in the opera: “the life of the hunter and the rule of demonic powers” (Weber’s words). The PSO honors the 200th anniversary of this work (June 18, 1821).


  • An American in Paris Suiteis a jazz-influenced orchestral piece by American composer George Gershwin first performed in 1928. It was inspired by the time that Gershwin had spent in Parisand it evokes the sights and energy of that French capital. In 1951, after Gershwin’s death, it was given cinematic interpretation in the classic Gene Kelly film of the same name.


  • A Tribute to the Duke – a medley of some of Duke Ellington’s greatest hits including “Sophisticated Lady” and “It Don’t Mean a Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing.” Duke Ellington (1899-1974) was notably the greatest jazz composer, pianist and bandleader of his time. A master of textures, rhythms, and compositional forms, his body of music is unequaled in jazz history.


  • Beatles Medley (Songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - the iconic 1960’s English Rock Band comprised of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr are regarded as one of the most influential bands of all time and their music remains enormously popular in America. “Eleanor Rigby”, “Yesterday”, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, and “I’m Sixty-Four” will be performed.


  • Selections from two of Aaron Copland’s ballets: Corral Nocturne (Rodeo), Prairie Night (Billy the Kid) and Hoe-Down (Rodeo). His three American ballets including Appalachian Spring were innovative for their use of distinctly American dances on the classical ballet stage.


  • The Moldau, a symphonic poem by Czech composer Bedřich Smetana (1824-1884), that evokes the flow of the Moldau river from its source in the mountains of the Bohemian Forest through the Czech countryside, to the city of Prague. The piece constitutes the second movement of his six-movement suite, Má Vlast (My Country). Smetana was one of the first of the great 19th-century “nationalist” composers.


  • The Stars and Stripes Forever is a patriotic American march written and composed by John Philip Sousa. By a 1987 act of the U.S. Congress, it became the official National March of the United States of America.

This June Pops concert will be also be available for later viewing on the Plainfield Symphony YouTube Channel beginning June xx, 2021 at 7pm. You can help the PSO continue to present enriching performances by making a donation at www.plainfieldsymphony.org.


Contact: 908-561-5140



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