Summer Pops – The Chorus of Westerly

Wilcox Park

Produced, Presented and Performed by The Chorus of Westerly

Saturday, June 22 at 8 pm
Pre-show just after 6:15 pm

Rain dates June 23 and June 24

Click the donate button above to donate securely to The Chorus of Westerly's Summer Pops. Donations to the Chorus of Westerly for Pops are 100% tax-deductible. The Chorus of Westerly is a registered 501(c)(3) charitable organization.



Andrew Howell, conductor

Andrew Howell, conductor
Special Guests: The American Band
Special Guest: Seven-time GRAMMY® winning artist Paul Winter
Special Guest: GRAMMY® winning artist Richard Cooke
with a special new work by John Tafone
Bob Elmer, emcee

Pre-show (6:15 pm) guests:
The American Band,
Michael Chicoria,
and the Westerly Morris Men

Finale performers

Fireworks by Grucci • The Artillery Company of Newport
Bells of Christ Church - Ryan Saunders


Pre-show at 6:15 pm, Main show at 8 pm


Saturday, June 22, 2019, 8 PM
No tickets required

Rain dates June 23/24


Pre-Show at 6:15 pm

American Band Salute
Second Conn. Reg. N.G. March
Symphonic Gershwin
Circus Days
John Williams Classics
Just a Closer Walk With the
Armed Forces Salute
Battle Hymn of the Republic
Stars and Stripes Forever




Main Show at 8 pm
(Program subject to change in order and works)

The Chorus of Westerly
The Pops Festival Orchestra

Guests: Paul Winter, Richard Cooke, The American Band

Guest composer: John Tafone
Andrew Howell, conductor

Selections from THE MUSIC MAN
America the Beautiful

Music with Paul Winter
Sun Singer
And the Earth Spins
The Harmony Trail (new)
Joy Brazilian Bach
Dancing Particles

Beethoven's Ode to Joy

Liberty Bell March

Anniversary Celebration Fanfare - John Tafone (new)

Vienna Philharmonic Fanfare

Homeward Bound

Moon River

1812 Overture

National Anthem


Please note that the performance order and program is subject to change without notice due to artistic issues, weather, or other factors AT ANY TIME.  We anticipate the program ending somewhere between 9:30 pm and 9:50 pm. The fireworks are launched during the 1812, the Star-Spangled Banner and after the show for a few minutes.

Blankets can be put down and left in the park (without someone on them) beginning at 5 pm on Friday, June 21, 2019. Subject to change. 


Media contact, 401.596.8663

WESTERLY, RI – The harmonies of community and music come together to officially welcome summer in Westerly on Saturday, June 22, 2019 at 8 pm, as the Chorus of Westerly presents its 39th annual Summer Pops performance in downtown Westerly’s Wilcox Park (Westerly Library & Wilcox Park)

This year’s performance, marking the final concert of the Chorus of Westerly’s 60th concert season and a part of the Town of Westerly’s 350th anniversary, features the 180-voice Chorus of Westerly, the Pops Festival Orchestra, the Artillery Company of Newport, a fireworks finale by Grucci, and is conducted by Andrew Howell.

The American Band, a 60-piece ensemble led by conductor Brian Cardany, will be featured as special guests of Summer Pops 2019 on both the main program, which begins at 8 pm, and as lead act on the Pops pre-show at 6:15 pm. The pre-show will also include performances by Pianist Michael Chicoria and The Westerly Morris Men.

Also featured on the main show as Summer Pops special guest artist, being presented in conjunction with the Westerly Bricks and Mural’s Harmony Trail project, is seven-time Grammy winning saxophonist Paul Winter. Mr. Winter will perform music with the orchestra and chorus, as well as pair with Harmony Trail instrument creator Richard Cooke for a special new work featuring the chorus, orchestra, and some of the outdoor instruments being installed in Westerly as part of the Harmony Trail the same weekend.

In addition to music with the American Band, Paul Winter, and Richard Cooke, the Summer Pops program will include music from The Music Man, Henry Mancini’s Moon River, a portion of the final movement of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony, a Mack Wilberg arrangement of Homeward Bound, patriotic favorites including America the Beautiful, and Sousa’s Liberty Bell March.

Summer Pops 2019 will also feature a new work celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Chorus of Westerly, the 350th anniversary, and the 40th anniversary of The American Band’s “reformation”, by talented New York composer and Westerly native John Tafone. Mr. Tafone, who is currently working on the scores for multiple new musicals soon heading towards Broadway (and who premiered music from his new musical The Count of Monte Cristo two years ago), has written a work that will feature a fanfare sounding from all corners of the park and featuring nearly all of the event’s performers.

The concert will close with its traditional ending: Tchaikovsky’s famous 1812 Overture complete with chorus, orchestra, cannons of the Newport Artillery, the bells of Christ Church, and fireworks by Grucci.

Summer Pops in Westerly is a free event and no tickets are required.

The program takes place in Wilcox Park, located between Broad Street, Grove Avenue, and High Street, next to the Westerly Public Library (the owners and operators of the park). The main show begins at 8 pm and the pre-show begins at 6:15 pm. In the event of inclement weather, rain dates are scheduled for Sunday, June 23 and Monday, June 24, 2019. Further information on the performance, including weather delay information if required, is available at or by calling 401.596.8663.

Those wishing to attend the performance can put down a blanket in Wilcox Park early to reserve a spot. Concert attendees can put down blankets and then leave them unoccupied beginning at 5 pm onFriday, June 21, 2019. Blankets and items put down before this time and left unattended likely will be removed. Unattended coolers, chairs, and other items besides blankets will also be removed. Please note that parking in downtown Westerly and traffic through downtown is heavily restricted between 4 pm and the end of the show (near to 10 pm). Traffic patterns will be modified before, during, and after the event.

About the concert
A staple of the southern New England arts landscape, Summer Pops 2019 will be the event’s 39th edition. The very first concert in 1981, held on the Post Office steps in Westerly’s Dixon Square and featuring the Chorus of Westerly and Rhode Island Philharmonic, was originally held as a one-time concert for the community. The Chorus was about to set off on its first international tour (to England and Scotland), and the concert was organized as a way to thank the community for their support of the Chorus and the tour project. The free concert proved so popular (organizers expected 500 people but nearly 5,000 attended) that the Chorus decided to produce the Pops event the following summer. By 1983, the audience size had grown to over 10,000 attendees and the decision was made to move the concert to Wilcox Park. Wilcox Park has served as home to Summer Pops every June since and the concerts each year have attracted between 15,000 and 25,000 annually.

The Chorus of Westerly is the full producer of the event, raising all the funds each year to produce it – a cost that is usually $90,000. Dozens of area individuals, businesses, partners, and the area towns all support these fundraising efforts and many more offer many in kind donations and services.

About the Chorus of Westerly
Founded in 1959 by George Kent and now conducted by Andrew Howell, the Chorus of Westerly has become one of the most acclaimed and impactful arts and community organizations in all of New England. In its 60 years, 2500 area residents (and over 1200 children) have been a part of the Chorus as a singer. The Chorus has performed over 700 concerts in Westerly, Providence, New Haven, Boston, New York, and in eight countries as part of five international concert tours to a combined audience of over 1.2 million people. The Chorus also owns and operates the George Kent Performance Hall, located at 119 High Street in downtown Westerly, and is in the middle of a multi-million dollar renovation of the facility. Recent work has included a restored slate roof, a new HVAC system, and restored historic stairs and doors. In the early fall, the Chorus will begin work on restoration of its exterior cedar clapboards, begin repainting the facility, and improve the structural integrity of its bell tower.

About the guest artists
The American Band, founded in 1837, is one of America’s oldest civilian concert bands. Today it is a frequently performing and in demand symphonic concert band comprised of over 60 adult musicians from all over New England. Its repertoire is versatile and traditional with works ranging from classical to popular, marches to operatic overtures, to modern works for band. The band is current under the leadership of Dr. Brian Cardany of the University of Rhode Island.

Paul Winter is a seven-time Grammy award winning saxophonist originally from Altoona. His first group, The Paul Winter Sextet, was signed in 1961 by Columbia Records and recorded five Jazz albums in the 1960s. Winter and his group were one of the first ensembles to bring together folk music and Brazilian bossa nova in a jazz setting. Winter and the band served as official cultural ambassadors of the United States in the 1960s, touring Latin America and performing in over 23 different countries. The band was one of the ever to perform jazz at the White House. Soon after a time living in Brazil and recording albums there with local musicians, Winter returned to the United States to formed his most famous group, The Winter Consort (which eventually became the Paul Winter Consort). In the decades that follow, Paul Winter and the Paul Winter Consort have released dozens of acclaimed and award winning albums that brought together world andnew age music with jazz and folk melodies. The consort’s famous 1970s album Icarus was produced by George Martin.

Since 1980, Paul Winter and the Consort have presented hundreds of specials concerts and events all over the world. They have been in residence for decades at the Cathedral Church (Episcopal) of St. John the Divine in New York City. At the Cathedral, Paul Winter and the Consort offer every year their Winter and Summer Solstice Celebrations, Carnival for the Rainforest, and their ecological mass, Missa Gaia, which is performed annually each October as part of the Feast of Saint Frances.

With all his various ensembles and partnerships, Paul Winter has performed more than 3,000 concerts in 52 countries. With his music, he has found a means to connect people to a sense of place, promote relatedness to the larger community of of life, and assist groups supporting local cultural and biological diversity. All told, he has produced 45 albums for his Living Music label, winning seven Grammy Awards. In recognition for his work, he has received a Global 500 Award for the United Nations, the Krutch Medal from the United States Humane Society, the Peace Abbey’s Courage of Conscience Award, the Spirit of the City Award presented in New York at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, and holds an honorary Doctorate of Music from the University of Hartford.

Mr. Winter appearance made as part of Westerly Harmony Trail Reveal Weekend

Mr. Winter’s appearance in Westerly is made in conjunction with and support from the Westerly Bricks and Murals Harmony Trail project. On the same day as Summer Pops, the new Harmony Trail outdoor community instruments will be revealed around town as part of the Harmony Trail Reveal and Community Music Stroll (taking place from 10 am to 12 pm, beginning at Donahue Park in downtown Pawcatuck and ending at Grey Sail Brewing of Rhode Island on Canal Street, Westerly).

Several of these new Harmony Trail instruments will be on stage as part of Summer Pops 2019. Mr. Winter along with instrument designer and creator, Richard Cooke, will briefly perform on these instruments as part of the main Summer Pops program.

Related to the Harmony Trail reveal, on Sunday, June 23, at the Knickerbocker Music Center, there will be a special breakfast and meet and greet with Paul Winter and Richard Cooke from 10 am to 12 pm (tickets are $25 and available only through Bricks and Murals – followed at 1 pm by a musical workshop with the instruments led by Richard Cooke and Corrine Gibbons.

More information on the Harmony Trail can be found at

The Chorus of Westerly
Summer Pops
119 High Street
Westerly, RI 02891

Further information/photos
Please contact the Chorus of Westerly for photos as needed or with interview requests.

Further information on groups and guest artists available online:

The Chorus of Westerly and Summer Pops available at
The Westerly Harmony Trail and Bricks and Murals at
Guest Artist (Main Show) Paul Winter at
Guest Artist (Main Show) Richard Cooke at
Guest Artists (Pre-show/Main Show) The American Band at
Guest Artists The Westerly Morris Men (Pre-show) at
Guest Artist Michael Chicoria at (Pre-show) at


For the most up-to-date information please

visit our social media pages
on Twitter @choruswesterly


Blankets may put down in the park and be left in the park unattended beginning at 5 pm on Friday, June 21, 2019. Blankets may not be left in the park prior to this time.

The Chorus, Library, Park, and all others involved are not responsible for your blanket. If it is moved for some reason (after Friday at 5 pm) there is nothing we can do about it. You leave your blanket at your own risk. No items besides blankets may then left in the park unattended (no chairs may left, no other items).