[Montecito Journal] Pops music
By Richard Mineards
The Granada was bursting at the seams when the Santa Barbara Symphony hosted its annual New Year's Eve Pops concert with pianist Michael Chertock and clarinetist Donald Foster.
As the talented musicians vied with the sounds of popping champagne corks, noise-makers and the rustle of party hats, conductor Bob Bernhardt, making his fourth consecutive appearance, took them through their paces with the two-hour program split equally between Boston Pops works from the time of Arthur Fiedler, who wielded his baton in the Massachusetts city for 50 years, and multi-Oscar winning composer John Williams, winner of 21 Grammy Awards, as well as four Golden Globes.
The eclectic program started with Sousa, Bizet, Anderson and Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, gloriously played by Chertock, making his Santa Barbara debut, who has performed the work more than 50 times.
The second half was mostly film themes from Williams, including the Far and Away Suite, Viktor's Tale from The Terminal with Foster superb on clarinet, wrapping with selectiosn from Fiddler on the Roof and a compendium of the late Marvin Hamlisch's works.
As usual, the concert ended with a rendition of Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever and Auld Lang Syne.
It was a glorious musical feast to welcome 2015...