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Pops Concert allows students to flex their creative and musical muscles

By Sally Jongsma

Clarinet players were characters from “Aladdin,” the trombones from “Lord of the Rings,” the second violins were Von Trapps, and the trumpets were all fair ladies from “My Fair Lady.”

Susan LeMahieu, from the clarinet section, shows off her costume as a genie from

Susan LeMahieu, from the clarinet section, shows off her costume as a genie from "Aladdin."

One hundred and ten instrumentalists packed the stage for the annual Pops Concert on September 19, only three weeks into the semester. The theme this year was “A Night at the Oscars,” and the B.J. Haan Auditorium was packed, with many seats filled with children.

The Pops Concert has become a favorite over the years, and the musicality and entertainment were as good as ever this fall.

“It’s the one time of the year when members of the Concert Band, the Campus Band, and the Chamber Orchestra play together for three weeks,” says Dordt’s new band and orchestra conductor, Bradley Miedema. The three-week period helps enfold new members into the instrumental program more quickly, Miedema believes, and scheduling a performance early heightens their performance skills right from the start.

All agree that it is great fun. A committee of ten students began meeting with Miedema already last spring to decide on a theme. They continued work over the summer, with each student taking on responsibility for some detail of the event.

“The Pops Concert continues to get better every year—in musical polish, student creativity, and audience enthusiasm,” says Dr. Karen De Mol, chair of the department. The musical arrangements from movies ranging from Schindler’s List to The Lion King were performed with precision; the costumes were more elaborate than ever, and MCs Lee and Leah Rodde did a remarkable job of keeping the audience entertained.

“We hope it helps people see that concerts are accessible so that they’ll come back to the other concerts we give throughout the year,” says Miedema, who began auditions for chair positions in the three ensembles the week after the concert.