Our family and friends who know music and the music business always marvel at the top talent in the Glendale Pops. In addition to Matt Catingub, maestro music arranger + performer, all the orchestra musicians are stand-outs and all the guest performers truly grace the Alex Theatre stage just as Jo Dee Messina did last February. Check out the YouTube link below…★★★★★!
Concert master and violin virtuoso Katia Popov is also the concert master of the Hollywood Bowl. Grammy nominee / Telly Award winning drummer Steve Moretti lives in Georgia and flies out on his own dime to play with Catingub and the Glendale Pops. Emmy-nominated composer and guitarist Grant Geissman, and top trumpeter Wayne Bergeron, are regulars. “These musicians love playing this music, love playing together, and love this setting. Almost every member of this ‘per-service orchestra’ is available for every concert. We go back so many years and this is a labor of love for all of us,” Catingub told me.
I’ve been a season ticket holder from the beginning. When I couldn’t use all the tickets for each concert, I made sure they were used. Miles Mosley, an up-and-coming musician doing incredible things with his bass violin, charmed my two guests at his October 2012 concert. For the program, Catingub had assembled a smaller ensemble as the Glendale Pops Jazz Band. Classic jazz arrangements he had originally created for Rosemary Clooney, with brass solos, were stirring. Then the orchestra switched to accompanying Mosley, who put on a great show, sang his own tunes, and played the upright bass as a soloist in ways none of us had ever heard it played before!
My guests were impressed with Mosley and with Catingub and the Jazz Band. They hadn’t known about the Glendale Pops at the Alex. I wondered afterwards why some in Glendale who enjoy good music don’t get to these concerts. The Alex is just minutes away from any point in the city, the parking is extremely cheap ($1 with validation!), the seats aren’t expensive, and there are great restaurants up and down Brand Blvd. near the theatre.
Glendale Arts worked with Catingub to build an audience during the second season, tapping talent in the community. The second “HolidayPop” concert featured Glendale-born vocalist Danielle Sadd and another Youth Choir recruited from local schools. Instrumental flights from the orchestra and engaging vocal renditions from Sadd and the Choir delivered a great concert and more exposure.
Catingub appealed to country fans next, featuring JoDee Messina in a Valentine’s concert. His original formula for Pops programs gives artists opportunities to explore new styles and perform in new ways. He encouraged Messina to ‘break up’ with her usual theme, and she delighted the audience with love songs. My favorite instrumental piece of that evening was Catingub’s arrangement of “King of the Road.” I also thoroughly enjoyed Messina’s performance and stage presence, the way she incorporated her life story into the show and finally the rousing ending captured here:
“Pops and Props” was an upscale end to the last season. The Alex’s renovation schedule and a great coincidence combined to set the event at History for Hire, a sponsor’s prop house. The coincidence: the film Good Night and Good Luck featured period props from History for Hire, as well as cameos of Matt Catingub playing his award-winning music for the film. At the concert, guests enjoyed tours of the prop house and music by the Glendale Pops Quartet, with drinks and food catered by Porto’s. I put Good Night and Good Luck on my Netflix list after that, and gave it five stars after watching. Anyone who hasn’t seen it should definitely do so.
I give the Glendale Pops ★★★★★ as well. The first two seasons were great – definitely get tickets to the third season of the Glendale Pops, starting in April!
Season tickets and sponsorships are available now! Put these concerts on the calendar and see the Glendale Pops at the Alex:
Saturday, April 11: Fusion – Jazz that Rocks
Saturday, May 10: Hidden Treasures with vocalist Carole Welsman
Saturday, June 21: An Evening with Martin Short