The third-annual Sarasota Orchestra outdoor Pops concert at Ed Smith Stadium attracted a record-setting crowd of over 3,300 raving fans. A perennial sell out, the family-friendly Pops concert is part of the Orioles' "Arts in the Ballpark" series.
This year, the Sarasota Orchestra's 'Triple Play' Pops program covered the bases with energetic music to please everyone's palate, including three musical genres - jazz, rock 'n' roll and Broadway. Under the baton of Principle Pops Conductor Andrew Lane, the Orchestra had a ball performing spirited American ballads from renowned composers such as John Williams, John Philip Sousa, George Gershwin and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
Three vocalists dazzled the audience, including Carol McCartney, whose sultry voice gave wings to jazz standards such as Gershwin's "Embraceable You," and Amy Whitcomb, who rocked the house with hits including "What's Up?" and "Heartbreaker." Sarasota's hometown treasure Maria Wirries captured the capacity crowd with Broadway numbers such as "Don't Rain on My Parade" and Stephen Sondheim's "Children Will Listen" from "Into the Woods."
The musical program concluded with all three vocalists joining the Orchestra for Irving Berlin's iconic "God Bless America," followed by a crowd-pleasing fireworks display.
"What's more fun than sitting back and enjoying the Orchestra, some popcorn and a hot hog in the most American of venues - the ballpark?" offered Orchestra President and CEO Joseph McKenna. "Our partnership with the Orioles is a wonderful way to engage the community." Plans are already underway for the Sarasota Orchestra's 2017 outdoor Pops concert next May at Ed Smith Stadium.