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South Jersey Pops Presents “Evolution of Jazz” May 22
Spring Concert at Lenape H.S. Will be Conductor’s Last with the Orchestra
CHERRY HILL, N.J., May 11, 2016 – Consider “The Evolution of Jazz,” the spring concert of the South Jersey Pops Orchestra, Mr. Schiavinato’s Opus.
Robert Schiavinato, who has helmed the all-volunteer ensemble for four years and oversaw it’s growth from 30 musicians to over 60, is leaving the orchestra to pursue new opportunities. But not before once more leaving his mark in the form of a very personal and highly challenging jazz lineup, for which he did some of the arrangements.
“I wanted to do something different and something uniquely American. Mostly, pops orchestras focus on show tunes, top 40s, or other popular tunes, with a sprinkling of classical pieces,” he says. “The ‘pops’ genre is a peculiarly American thing. We invented it, starting with Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops. Typically, orchestras play a lot of music written by Europeans. But jazz is uniquely American.”
During his tenure, Schiavinato has served as mentor for many young musicians and several outstanding conductors-on-the-rise, including Waterford music teacher and oboist Emma Gibbins and Medford music teacher and flutist Rachel Smith, each of whom took the baton during the Pops’ Holiday Spectacular concert in December.
“It’s been an amazing opportunity for our community orchestra to work with someone of Robert Schiavinato’s caliber. He has doubled our size and significantly expanded our abilities and repertoire, and we’re thankful for his influence,” says Christian Stebbins, president of the South Jersey Pops. “Of course, he’s challenging us one last time, but under his conducting we’ll rise to the occasion.”
The earliest piece in “Evolution of Jazz” is Castle House Rag, a ragtime composition by James Reese Europe. The concert moves forward historically, with Dixieland, a tribute to Louis Armstrong, medleys of Duke Ellington pieces and Big Band Swing, and even a “Salute to Ol’ Blue Eyes.” Finally, the orchestra will perform some jazz standards from the 1960s and later.
“Evolution of Jazz” will be performed at Lenape High School, 235 Hartford Road, Medford, on Sunday, May 22. Doors open at 2:30 p.m. and the concert begins at 3 p.m. General admission tickets are $10 and can be purchased at the door or online at http://www.southjerseypops.org/. Children under 13 are free.
Founded in 1969 as the Burlington County Pops, the 60-member South Jersey Pops Orchestra is an all-volunteer community ensemble that presents several concerts annually. The orchestra provides musicians of all ages an opportunity to express themselves musically in a friendly environment and provides its audiences an opportunity to enjoy live music close to home at moderate cost. The orchestra’s member musicians share administrative duties and pay annual dues to help defray the organization’s expenses. For more information on the South Jersey Pops, visit http://www.southjerseypops.org.