The Upcoming Pops Season Offers Classical Music, Holiday Tunes and More

The orchestra begins with a USO-style concert honoring veterans in November.

By Kay Kipling August 9, 2016

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More area artistic groups continue to roll out their 2016-17 season announcements, including the 60 musicians-plus Pops Orchestra, led by conductor Robyn L. Bell.

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Pops conductor Robyn L. Bell


The Pops positions itself as presenting varied programming—something for everyone—and that focus shows in the concerts of the upcoming season, offered at both Riverview Performing Arts Center in Sarasota and Neel Performing Arts Center in Bradenton.

The season kicks off with a USO-style “Extravaganza” honoring veterans, Nov. 13 and 14. Impersonator Bill Johnson portrays comedian Bob Hope, famously known for entertaining the troops during World War II, Korea and after.

The “Jolly Pops” show, Dec. 12 and 18, welcomes the classical music of the Qol Quartet. Soprano Johanna Fincher, mezzo Robyn Rocklein, tenor Adam Bielamowicz and baritone Christopher Holloway combine their talents for a celebration of the holidays.

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The Qol Quartet


Pianist Rich Ridenour, a Sarasota resident, is not just a keyboard player; he’s also a theatrical funny man in the tradition of Victor Borge, having collaborated with performers from Martin Short to Smokey Robinson. He’s in a “My Funny Valentine” concert here Feb. 12 and 13.

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Pianist Rich Ridenour


Closing out the season April 2 and 3 will be an “Out of This World” concert with electro-acoustic violist Martha Mooke, a pioneer in the field of the electric five-string viola who blends digital effects and improvisation with musicianship for a unique evening of entertainment.

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Violist Martha Mooke


For tickets, call (941) 926-POPS or visit

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