Paul Manz

The Prescott POPs Symphony returns to the stage of the Yavapai College Performing Arts Center (YCPAC), 1100 East Sheldon Street, Prescott, at 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 18, to recognize and pay tribute to a group of artists without whom the motion picture industry would not exist.

According to a news release, the names of these contributors almost never get star billing when the credits roll and are most often buried in a list that is quickly flashed on the screen. These are the film composers who apply their talents to enhance the emotional experience of the projected images of the movie. As an example of the potential effects of the musical score, there is a scene in which a character is seen running through an open field. Depending upon the music accompanying the scene, the character may be enjoying a pleasurable run or a mad dash to safety from an unseen threat. The selections in this concert program are among the finest examples of the composer’s ability to evoke the emotions desired by the filmmaker, the release stated.

Long-time members of the Prescott community may remember a time in 1992 when a small ensemble of some 15 musicians banded together to present a concert of popular music from Broadway and the movies. It was the dreamchild of band director Paul Manz who perceived the need for a bit of wholesome entertainment for residents and visitors alike during the pleasant evenings of Prescott summers. The release explained that over the next 17 years, Manz built the organization into a full-blown symphony orchestra with over 60 members, entertaining sold-out houses with delightful melodies and occasional bad jokes from the podium. Manz returns to share the podium for this concert.

The program will open with a performance of “Parade of the Charioteers” from the movie “Ben Hur.” The theme from the brass section and the urgent rhythm of the timpani paint an effective picture even though we don’t have the visual image. The movie, “To Kill A Mockingbird,” deals with the subjects of racism and bigotry as experienced through the eyes of the children in the story. Consequently, the background music is built on simple childlike themes. It is the ability to interpret the emotion of a scene and to represent it in an original composition that makes the film composer such an important member of the production team, the release stated.

Darrell Rowader, musical director of the Prescott POPs Chorus and well-known movie buff will be on hand to offer unique insight into the musical aspects of many of the works on the program.

For tickets, visit

Information provided by Prescott POPs Symphony.

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