Now that the cold winds and snows of February have been replaced by warm breezes and sunny days, the Prescott POPs rescheduled concert, “Irving Berlin: From Rags to Ritzes,” will be at 7 p.m. Saturday, April 29. The concert is a different day and time than the POPs’ usual concerts because of a very busy schedule at the Jim & Linda Lee Performing Arts Center on the Yavapai College-Prescott campus.
All tickets for the February concert remain valid. Although the name has been changed the venue is still the Performing Arts Center at Yavapai College, 1100 E. Sheldon St., Prescott. Tickets are still available at the door or online at www.ycpac.com.
Acclaimed as “the greatest songwriter who has ever lived” by the great George Gershwin, Irving Berlin has enriched the world of popular music over a lifetime in excess of 100 years and a catalog of over 1,000 songs, accomplishing all with a little-known musical handicap. For most of his career, he was unable to read sheet music. He could barely play the piano and only in the key of F sharp. He was able to offset this lack with a custom-made piano that included a special transposing lever that could be used when he was required to play in other keys.
Berlin’s career as a songwriter was launched with the introduction of Alexander’s Ragtime Band in 1911 and revived interest in the genre begun by Scott Joplin a decade earlier. The ensuing dance craze immediately took over the American entertainment scene.
The POPs orchestra is joined for this concert by an ensemble of well-known local vocalists including Arlene Hardy, who has previously appeared with the Prescott Strings, Prescott Chamber Orchestra, Yavapai College Master Chorale and others; Dr. Craig Ralston, who has enjoyed an eight-year stint as associate dean of Performing Arts at Yavapai College as well as performing and producing numerous hit shows, most recently Hello Dolly; Leah Morales, with credits for Eponine in Les Miserables, Ernestina Money in Hello Dolly, and Velma Kelly in Chicago; Mike Nache, most recently appearing as Marius in Les Miserables, Archibald Craven in The Secret Garden, and Billy Flynn in Chicago; and Wesley Traver, who is returning for a second appearance with the POPs.
Information provided by Prescott POPs.