The Kenosha Pops Concert Band’s conductors tout their programs as “appealing to all ages.”
Tonight, they have a chance to prove it.
“Halloween in July” — tonight’s theme — will find the band in costume, performing spooky tunes, and audience members are encouraged to come dressed for the holiday, too.
“I’ve been looking forward to this concert all summer,” said Craig Gall, the band’s conductor. “This program should really appeal to everyone, and we’re planning to have a lot of fun tonight.”
With that in mind, let’s see how tonight’s concert has something for everyone.
Gall will lead children in a costume parade during the band’s performance of “Funeral March of a Marionette” — more familiar to listeners as the theme to the “Alfred Hitchcock Presents” TV series. And children in costume will receive candy at the end of the parade.
Assistant Conductor Frank Germinaro is the narrator on “Peter and the Wolf” by Russian composer Sergei Prokofiev. The narrator tells a children’s story, while the band’s music illustrates it. (Fans of the 1983 movie “A Christmas Story” will recognize the tune, used in the film when the character Scott Farkus is bullying other kids.)
Two pieces on the program have Disney connections: A medley of highlights from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast,” including “Be Our Guest” and the Oscar-winning title song, and “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice,” made famous by Mickey Mouse and some dancing broomsticks in the animated movie classic “Fantasia.”
The Pops Band does turn a bit serious tonight with performances of “Allerseelen” (All Souls’ Day) by Richard Strauss and “The Phantom Regiment” by Pops favorite Leroy Anderson.
“The Strauss piece is a beautiful symphonic art song,” Gall said, “and the Anderson number is a great march that depicts a ghostly regiment marching out of the fog.”
For horror movie fans
“Psycho” will be familiar to audience members who have seen the classic Hitchcock film (maybe you want to shower before tonight’s concert). And the medley “Things That Go Bump in the Night” features the themes from “Tales From the Crypt” and “Jaws.”
For Andrew Lloyd Webber fans
The British composer is represented tonight by a medley of tunes from his mega-hit “The Phantom of the Opera.” Included are “Think of Me,” “All I Ask of You” and “The Music of the Night.”
For ’bones fans
The bossa nova tune “Bunch O’ Bones” by Richard Fote will feature the band’s trombone section — Tom Frost, John Schoettler and Emily Korecz.
“Dry Bones” — a rock gospel march arranged by John Cacavas — features what Germinaro calls, laughing, “some stunning choreography on the part of the band.”
For pop music fans
Germinaro is also conducting “Spooky,” a pop song recorded by the band Classics IV that was the No. 43 hit in 1968.
For Gershwin fans
“How Long has this Been Going On?” — a tune by George and Ira Gershwin — will be sung by master of ceremonies Greg Berg.
And how does this fit into the Halloween theme? Let’s let Gall explain: “The song contains the lines ‘there were chills up my spine’ and ‘when in your arms I creep,’ so it fits our theme perfectly! We’re all about stretching these themes at the Pops Band.”