Pops Concert draws crowd

September 6, 2011 • Local News

Nearly 500 people attended Roswell Symphony Orchestra’s Pops Concert, on Labor Day. The parking lot was so full that cars stretched into College Boulevard on both sides of the road. (Jessica Palmer Photo)

The sun smiled down upon the Roswell Symphony Orchestra’s Labor Day Pops Concert at Spring River Park, 1306 E. College, with mild temperatures in the 80s after a summer of 100-plus temperatures, as the ochestra opened their concert season, Monday evening. The selections included numerous hits from Porgy and Bess and South Pacific, during the first set, and Sousa and Dvorak punctuating the second.

The Robert E. and [auth] Evelyn McKee Foundation were major funders for the event that brightened the Labor Day holiday.

The Instrumental Petting Zoo gave children a chance to play instruments and try their luck at producing the sounds of music.

The drawing for RSO’s fundraiser was also held at the Pops Concert, during the intermission. Prizes ranged from $2,000 for first prize, a 55-inch widescreen HD-LCD television for second prize and third prize of an iPad 2 16GB.

As it progresses, the 51st annual concert season will present educational programs for children and youth, along with a multi-cultural chamber concert series.

The orchestra’s musicians travel from all the major cities within a 200 mile radius of Roswell to attend, including Lubbock, Amarillo, Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, El Paso, Portales, Alamogordo, and Roswell.

The RSO began in 1959 in the basement of the First Methodist Church. Contributors came from many walks of life, from lawyers, accountants and teachers to florists, housewives and geologists.

The group began its first concert season in 1960, which featured three concerts held in New Mexico Military Institutes’s Pearson Auditorium. Now the season includes a series of five classical concerts in Pearson Auditorium with guest artists, a three concert chamber music series held at the Roswell Museum and Art Center, four children’s Educational concerts for nearly 5,000 second-, third-, fourth- and fifth-graders in Roswell, Dexter and Hagerman.

The Labor Day “Pops” Concert in the Park is a thanks given to Roswell for its support. The petting zoo is held in the afternoon prior to the concert and allows young and older children alike to come and talk with some of the orchestra musicians about their instruments and even play them.

Fans young and old attended with nearly 500 listening to the best selections of music in southeast New Mexico.

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