THE CHORUS OF WESTERLY
119 High Street
Westerly, RI 02891
NEWS ALERT –
WESTERLY SUMMER POPS POSTPONED
Concert will be on Sunday, June 24, 2018
All singers and orchestra members: report to Kent Hall for rehearsal on Saturday at same times.Pre-show performers: Sound checks will be on Sunday
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Due to adverse weather conditions, the Chorus of Westerly's 38th Summer Pops in Wilcox Park, Westerly, has been officially postponed this evening (Saturday, June 23, 2018). The event will now be held tomorrow evening on Sunday, June 24, 2018. The pre-show will be at 6:15 pm and main show at 8 pm on Sunday evening. Fireworks by Grucci will launch at the conclusion of the show at approximately 9:30 pm.
"It was a difficult decision for us to postpone," states Ryan Saunders, executive director of the Chorus of Westerly, the organization that fully produces Summer Pops. "With the weather forecasts calling for possible rain on and off all day and with very cool temperatures, it is just too risky to try offering the concert today. Plus, with some severe weather possible later, we wanted to make sure everything remained safe and comfortable for audience and performers. We love offering this concert, but safety is our top priority."
The performance Sunday evening will feature in the pre-show the Westerly High School Band, the Westerly Morris Men, and the Beach Band. The main show will feature The Chorus of Westerly, Pops Festival Orchestra, featured guest Roderick MacDonald, trumpet, the Artillery Company of Newport, and Fireworks by Grucci. Andrew Howell, the Marion and Bill Palm music director of the Chorus of Westerly, serves as conductor.
The main show program features nearly 300 performers between the singers and Pops Festival Orchestra, as well as famed trumpeter Roderick MacDonald, former principal trumpet of the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. The music to presented ranges from selections from West Side Story to patriotic favorites such as The Battle Hymn of the Republic and The Stars and Stripes Forever. The program ends, as it has every year since the early 1980s, with Tchaikovsky's exciting 1812 Overture, complete with cannons from the Newport Artillery and Fireworks by Grucci. All of these elements and professionals involved with the artistic and technical side of the production, will remain in Westerly overnight and will all be part of the performance on Sunday.
In regards to the challenges of moving Pops to a new day, Saunders notes, "The decision to delay Pops one day incurs about $10,000 in additional expense to the Chorus of Westerly as we have to pay costs associated with keeping much of our technical and production staff and orchestra in place for an additional day so, we don't make this decision lightly. But, we are hopeful that tomorrow night our audience members attending considering making a donation to one of our donation buckets in the park to help us with the costs of producing the event. We try to raise about $90,000 to cover our regular costs for the event, and always try to raise $10,000 the night of the show to hit that goal. This year, with the delay, support will be more important than ever. Whatever anyone can do will help."
Should weather be an issue on Sunday, the Chorus will post further updates on its Facebook, Twitter, and webpage for Pops - westerlypops.org. If Sunday evening is rained out, the Chorus will make one more attempt to present the performance Monday night at 8 pm. If Monday is rained out, the Chorus will have to give up on this year and begin work on Summer Pops 2019.
The Chorus of Westerly has been producing, presenting, and performing all elements of Summer Pops Westerly since 1981. This year's show will be the 38th edition of this community favorite. Of the 38 shows, 7 have been postponed on a Saturday due to weather and moved to Sunday evening. 2 have been postponed both Saturday and Sunday and moved to Monday evening.
The Chorus of Westerly is a not-for-profit charitable arts organization established in 1959 by founder George Kent. Andrew Howell is its music director today. Summer Pops 2018 marks the end of the Chorus's 59th season. Tax deductible donations can be made to the Chorus or Summer Pops online at westerlypops.org or by sending a check payable to the Chorus of Westerly at 119 High Street, Westerly, RI.
ryan @ chorusofwesterly.org