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Tucson Pops conductor search narrows; two more on deck for Reid Park series

Tucson Pops conductor search narrows; two more on deck for Reid Park series

Two more guest conductors will be at the podium for the Tucson Pops Orchestra’s milestone 65th anniversary season that kicks off Sunday, Sept. 8, at Reid Park’s DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center.

That will bring to eight the number of Tucson conductors vying to eventually replace longtime conductor László Veres.

Veres said he expects the orchestra’s search committee could narrow the pool to no more than three candidates this fall. The finalists will then return in the spring to lead the Pops Orchestra in its “Music Under the Stars” series with their own programs.

Veres, who took over the Pops Orchestra in 1997 after four years as the assistant conductor, said he will work alongside the winning conductor a couple of seasons before turning over the baton completely.

Conductor Andy Wade is the first up on Sunday in a program that includes works by George Gershwin, “Mission Impossible” and “The Marriage of Figaro.” Veres returns in the second half with the score from “Lion King” and a medley of Broadway show tunes.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. at DeMeester, East 22nd Street and South Country Club Road. Admission is free, although donations are accepted.

“Music Under the Stars” events begin at 7 p.m. and all are at DeMeester. Details:

  • Sept. 15, guest conductor Khris Dodge will lead a program with the Tucson Arizona Boys Chorus including “Rider in the Sky,” “Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around.”
  • Sept. 22, violinist Michael Fan pairs with violinist Joseph Pagan on Sinfonia Concertante for Violin and Viola. Also on the program: A sampler of great opera arias including Prelude to Act I and “Coro de Mattadori Spagnuoli” from Verdi’s “La Traviata” and “Nessun Dorma” from Puccini’s “Turandot.”
  • Sept. 29, All about Broadway and a solo turns from Tucson Pops cellist Anne Gratz on “The Swan” from “Carnival of the Animals” by Saint-Saens and bassoonist Jessica Campbell on “The Old Grumbly Bear” by J. Fucík.

Veres’s other ensemble, Arizona Symphonic Winds, is in its 30th year of performing its “Music in the Park” series.

Concerts are held Saturdays at 7 p.m. at Udall Park’s László Veres Amphitheater, 7600 E. Tanque Verde Road. Admission is free and donations are accepted. Details:

  • Sept. 7: “Beautiful Sound of the Bassoon” with Marissa Olegario, bassoon professor at the University of Arizona Fox School of Music, performing Weber’s virtuosic “Andante and Hungarian Rondo.”
  • Sept. 14: “Glowing Tone of the Violin” featuring Michelle Abraham Kantor, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra’s associate concertmaster, performing Beethoven’s masterpiece “Violin Concerto.”
  • Sept. 21: “Stars of the Winds” shines the spotlight on several Winds musicians.
  • Sept. 28: Singer Elena Galbraith returns to sing music of George Gershwin, Irving Berlin and others in an “Evening With Elena.”

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at or 573-4642. On Twitter @Starburch

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