The Boston Pops was founded in 1885 just a few years after the Boston Symphony as a separate venture within the organization. Nearly all of the musician personnel were the same, but the aim of the Pops was to specifically feature lighter classical fare, holiday-oriented music, and popular tunes.
Our modern era concept of pops “seasons” around holiday times, and especially the spectacular music and fireworks performances for the Fourth of July, were essentially templated by Boston Pops under the direction of Arthur Fiedler.
Arthur Fiedler directed the Boston Pops from 1930 until his death in 1979. He introduced the world to the music of Leroy Anderson, who created fun engaging compositions - among them “Sleigh Ride”, “The Typewriter”, and “The Syncopated Clock” - specifically for Boston Pops.
Our Colorado Symphony Tribute to Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops followed a typical Boston Pops program and structure. It had two short intermissions, featured solo performers from the orchestra, and was built around lighter classical music, Broadway music selections, a Leroy Anderson number, and finished with the signature Sousa march “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”
Two instruments were highlighted in an unusual way on this program: the contrabassoon and the tuba. The contrabassoon is a member of the woodwind family and is twice as low sounding as its smaller counterpart, the bassoon. The tuba is a member of the brass family and is many times larger than its cousins the trumpets, horns, and trombones. Possibly due to their very low pitch ranges neither are frequently used as solo or spotlight instruments. This concert program provides a great opportunity to shine a light on each of them!