Tickets are still available for the Glendale Pops’ final concert of the season on Friday, May 11 at the Alex Theatre at 8 p.m. featuring Dave Koz and Monica Mancini under the direction of Matt Catingub.
By Ted AYALA
When the month of May comes each year it brings – along with the usual assortment of birds, blossoms, and bees – preparations for and thoughts of end-of-year culmination and graduation ceremonies for students around the world. But what the Glendale Pops has in store for its audience on Friday night at the Alex Theatre is a bit different.
Think of it as a graduation/class reunion. Matt Catingub, the Glendale Pops’ energetic and charismatic artistic director, is ringing the end to a successful first season with the Pops with a tip of the hat to Hollywood – and he’s called upon a couple of friends to help him out.
“Well, Matt and I go way back,” said Dave Koz. Koz, an internationally renowned saxophonist, first met Catingub while in their teens at the Monterey Jazz Festival where they participated in the festival’s High School All-Star Band.
“He was already back then an incredible musician,” Koz recalled. “Plus he made these amazing arrangements. I mean these charts he wrote were just incredible.”
Catingub, who will be leading the Pops’ season finale in a program that pays tribute to songs from classic films, reciprocated Koz’s admiration.
“I’ve been blown away by Dave’s talent ever since I first met him,” said Catingub. “His personality and musicality are outstanding. When the chance came up for us to work together again I didn’t hesitate one moment.”
In the years since their first encounter, Koz’s and Catingub’s paths have crossed again. It was Catingub who years later gave Koz his first experience working with an orchestra.
“Matt was running the [Honolulu Pops] at the time. He called me up and asked me if I wanted to come up with his orchestra. So I get to work with Matt and go to Hawaii? How could I say no?” Koz said with a laugh.
Though Friday’s concert is a collaboration of old friends, the program itself is a collaboration of different artistic disciplines – namely film and music. Catingub mused on what continues to make these songs from films like “The Wizard of Oz,” “Casablanca” and other old Hollywood greats resonate with audiences the world over.
“For me, film is like the ultimate intersection of art. It’s a place where all these different genres combine to make something truly memorable. The powerful moments in these films combined with the music have created something that has left an indelible imprint on audiences. These songs are classics. They’re never going away.”
In a similar frame of mind, Koz expressed why he loved working with orchestras and what makes that experience so special.
“There’s nothing like that … feeling of hearing 60 to 100 or more musicians getting together and making this incredible sound. It’s unbelievable. There’s something in the human spirit that calls out for this music, something so deeply tied into our souls. It’s an important part of our cultural heritage.”
The Glendale Pops’ final concert of the season takes place Friday, May 11 at the Alex Theatre at 8 p.m. Along with Dave Koz, the Pops will also enjoy the presence of guest star Monica Mancini. Tickets can be purchased by calling (818) 243-ALEX (2539) or by going online to http://www.glendalepops.org/tickets/buying-tickets/.
You can find more information about the concert by visiting http://www.glendalepops.org/our-performances/a-night-at-the-movies/.