Heroes and Super Heroes Concert, Panama City FL

Local Heroes to be Honored by POPS Orchestra

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A year ago when the Panama City POPS Orchestra was planning its 2018-2019 musical offerings, a family-oriented performance honoring local first responders and military servicemen and women and their families took shape.

“Heroes and Super Heroes” takes place this Saturday with not one, but two performances. The 7:30pm performance is sold out, and a second performance has been added at 4:00pm.

The matinée was added to allow The POPS to continue with its origin plan of offering free tickets to all local military units and local law enforcement and fire protection agencies.

“Now more than ever the Board of Directors is committed to honoring those who have been on the front lines protecting our community and defending our country,” states POPS Board President Connie Gittard. “We’re thrilled to be able to recognize these dedicated individuals and their families.”

Invitations were sent to commanding officers of the local municipal organizations and military installations. All active and retired professionals and their families are invited
to the 4:00pm concert. Admission is free, however, reserved seat tickets are necessary and may be obtained by calling 850-785-POPS (7677).

In light of the sold out status of the 7:30 concert, the general public may also purchase reserved seat tickets to the 4:00 performance at www.panamacitypops.org.

The Panama City POPS concerts are traditionally a combination of familiar, classical works and popular arrangements, with an occasional entertaining surprise folded in.
“Heroes and Super Heroes” pays tribute to the champions of our day with masterworks by some of classical music’s most memorable heroes, as well as modern media’s scores and soundtracks.

“If you’ve always wanted to hear directly from Ludwig van Beethoven with regard to his inspiration for the masterpiece, Eroica, that evening will be the time to do that,” hints POPS Conductor and Music Director David Ott with a sly smile. “There have been sightings of the composer during our rehearsals, and Beethoven just might make an appearance at the concerts.”

The second half of the concert will be a variety of modern media’s scores and soundtracks revering super heroes from all walks of life. “Think Superman and Star Wars,” says Ott. Folks attending the concerts are encouraged to wear their favorite super hero costume, and free super hero capes will be given out to junior super heroes in the audience. Live super heroes will be roaming the lobby during intermission and following the concert, available for photos with concert-goers.

Sponsors of “Heroes and Super Heroes” are Summit Bank, the Charles A. Whitehead Foundation, Curiosity Marketing Group, Commercial Disaster Recovery and M&H Construction Services LLC.

Season Finale

Who inspired the composers of classical music? You’ll know on April 27 when you hear the works of Debussy and Rimsky-Korsakov. The POPS also welcomes acclaimed guest clarinetist, Richie Hawley, performing Mozart’s “Clarinet Concerto in A Major.” The virtuoso is Professor of Clarinet and Chair of Woodwinds at the Shepard School of Music, Rice University, Houston, TX. Reserved seat tickets are available now.

Getting There

The Gretchen Nelson Scott Fine Arts Center is located at 501 Mosley Drive,
Lynn Haven, FL, 32444. Free parking is behind the venue, just off Minnesota Avenue.

Panama City POPS concerts start promptly.

For more information about The POPS call (850) 785-POPS (7677).

The POPS meets Southern Rock’n’Blues in October

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This concert was cancelled due to Hurricane Michael.

The POPS meets Southern Rock’n’Blues on stage for a rousing night in SweetBay’s beautiful Academy Square Park!

The Allman Goldflies Band Goes Pop

The Allman Goldflies Band Goes Pops

October 13, 2018 | 6:00 PM | FREE

Founders Pavilion, 1980 Discovery Loop, Panama City, FL



On the eve of the Panama City POPS Orchestra’s 23rd season premiere at the Marina Civic Center, the Orchestra takes to the road for a night of southern rock and roll with The Allman Goldflies Band.

“The Allman Goldflies Band Goes POPS” is SweetBay’s one and only autumn night concert, Saturday, October 13, 6:00pm on the Founders Stage. Admission is free and open to the public.

Lovers of both classical and southern rock are encouraged to attend. The orchestra will open the night with a newly arranged “Star Spangled Banner,” “The William Tell Overture,” and the “Ritual Fire Dance.” The Allman Goldflies Band will then join them for a night of straight-up rock and blues.

David Ott, renowned Panama City POPS conductor and composer, has written orchestral scores for much of the Allman Goldflies Band’s acclaimed debut album, “Second Chance,” featuring original songs by Gary Allman, David Goldflies and Cindy Menfi.

Classically trained and having composed for almost every imaginable genre of music, Ott found this project refreshing and rewarding. “Arranging for rock music did present a new challenge,” Ott states, “however, David Goldflies, one of rock music’s most admired players, explained the elements of rock music in detail, offering many helpful hints along the way. His critique was always supportive. I attempted to incorporate everything he suggested.

“As a result, this music reflects a 60/40 split between the Band and the Orchestra. The Band carries the load, but the Orchestra delivers substantial work and plenty of content. With these arrangements, I’ve added orchestral introductions, short interludes for the orchestra and occasional responses back and forth between Band and Orchestra. The Orchestra acts as a true accompaniment to the Band.”

The experience is a new one for Allman and Goldflies, too. Gary Allman, AGB’s vocalist/keyboardist, continues to carry the blues and rock heritage of his famous musical family exemplified by the late Duane and Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band.
David Goldflies, the critically-acclaimed bassist, is a former member of the Allman Brothers Band (1979-1984) and has been a member of the Panama City POPS Orchestra for over twelve years, serving as its principal bassist. He produced AGB’s “Second Chance.”

The band’s winning sound is a mix of southern rock and modern blues driven by Allman’s raspy, blues-man voice and Goldflies’ intricate bass playing. Their songs clearly demonstrate that Allman has inherited the skills that made his cousins legendary, anchored by the unique perspective of Goldflies.

“Working with one of the greatest American living composers has been a fascinating process,” states Goldflies of Ott. “The orchestrations that he created in response to the scores we provided him evolved after numerous dialogues about the nature of symphonic and rock music, eventually creating the best music we could for each song. That collaboration allowed the AGB to really do what it does best – rock out and blend seamlessly into the sound created by the Panama City POPS.”

“I write from the heart,” observes Allman,“be it blues, country rock or country blues. David (Goldflies) writes funkier upbeat stuff. I think we complement each other that way.” The proof is in the ten tracks on their new album, released earlier this year and gaining critical praise across the industry trades.

SweetBay is Panama City’s master-planned, bayfront village immersed in healthy living, higher learning, natural beauty and community connection, designed to inspire natural and relaxed living with a dash of Southern charm. Take 23rd Street to Lisenby Avenue. Follow Lisenby Avenue straight into the community and park area. GPS address:
3204 Heartleaf Avenue East, Panama City, 32401. Facebook.com/SweetBayFL.

Admission and parking are free. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at each show. Lawn chairs and blankets are encouraged, and visitors are urged to arrive early for good seating.

Visit the Concert Page

Now celebrating its 23rd season, The Panama City POPS Orchestra performs its regular season concerts at the Marina Civic Center. The regular season premieres Saturday, October 20 with “Music of the Night.” Tickets for 2018-2019 are currently on sale at www.marinaciviccenter.com.


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“Big City Music” is the theme for The Panama City POPS Orchestra’s 22nd season, inspired, in part, by the title of the artwork that will embellish the organization’s marketing materials.

“For the past ten years The POPS has collaborated with the local arts community to tie the performing arts to the visual arts,” states POPS Board President, Tammala Spencer.  “A generous artist donates his or her work to adorn The POPS’ promotional materials.  At the end of each season, a fundraising raffle is conducted and a POPS patron goes home with an exceptional piece of art.

“This year, The POPS is grateful for the generous gift of internationally renowned artist and local cultural icon, Paul Brent. It exudes the vibrancy of Panama City’s flagship orchestra and stimulates heightened interest in the coming season,” remarked  Ms. Spencer. A 27″ x 31″ giclée printed on canvas, framed and signed by the artist will be on display at each POPS concert.

“Art and music are linked in creative expression,” commented artist Paul Brent.  “In Big City Music I wanted to connect the instruments and the city environment visually communicating the various styles of music from classical to jazz and pop.”

2017-2018 Paul Brent POPS Painting - Big City Music

Concert Schedule and Titles

POPS Conductor and Music Director David Ott returns to the Marina Civic Center stage  unveiling an exciting series of classical and popular music evoking distant places and bygone eras. Full symphonies, myriad overtures and countless compositions by composers from every age will be performed by the orchestra.

The season opens in exciting style on October 21 with a program entitled, “Under the Sea” featuring classical selections by Shostakovich, Smetana and Johann Strauss II.

At the second concert on January13, The POPS makes “Musical Overtures,” a proposition from the likes of Mendelssohn, Rimsky-Korsakov and more.

Everyone’s Irish on March 17, and on that date The POPS shares the joy of Celtic music of all kinds. “Celtic Celebrations” presents guest artists The Mithril Duo to transport the audience on an exotic musical journey to Ireland, Scotland and beyond.

On May 5, the POPS season finale, “How Suite It Is,” is a family-focused program which will enlighten music aficionados of all ages. The POPS takes you from Norway to Never Never Land on a magical, musical vacation for the young and young-at-heart! The dramatic and adventurous Peer Gynt Suite No. 2 by Edvard Grieg and the Peter Pan Suite by POPS Conductor and Music Director David Ott headline the program of our family-focused season finale.

“Next season a vast sea of great music awaits you as The Panama City POPS Orchestra escorts you on a musical tour around the world. Your seat awaits you,” invited the Pulitzer Prize-nominated Ott. “Don’t miss a single note.”

Moments with the Maestro

Carrying forward a new tradition instituted last season, The POPS will offer Moments with the Maestro, a pre-concert lecture series which takes place at the Marina Civic Center, Mezzanine Level, 6:45-7:15pm, prior to each regular season concert. Led by the conductor in a comfortable, intimate setting, the public is invited to hear a medley of information such as the thoughts behind the selections, some of the history of the selections, and the nuances to listen and look for during the concert. The series is open to the general public. Admission is free for Baton-level subscribers and $20.00 for all other patrons.


Concert dates for the regular 2017-2018 POPS season are October 21, 2017; January 13,  March 17 and May 5, 2018. POPS season tickets are available now at www.panamacitypops.org/tickets/. All regular season concerts will be performed at the Marina Civic Center and will start at 7:30 pm.

Individual tickets are available after September 20 at the Marina Civic Center box office, 850-763-4696, or at www.marinaciviccenter.com. Single ticket prices: $29.50 for Adults; $20 for Seniors 65+ and Active Military; $10 for Children

For more information about The POPS call (850) 785-POPS (7677).

Ports O Call

Panama City POPS “Ports O’ Call” Itinerary

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Conductor and Music Director David Ott is at the helm and excitement is in the air as The Panama City POPS Orchestra hoists its sails on its 2016-2017 season, Saturday, October 15, 7:30pm at the Marina Civic Center, and performs “Ports O’ Call,” a unique musical tour spanning three continents courtesy of Bay County’s local orchestra.

Opening the evening and making his Panama City POPS official season debut as the orchestra’s new Conductor and Music Director, Maestro Ott will lead The POPS in a powerful array of nationalistic music.

Departing from the bayside Marina Civic Center stage, the orchestra will cruise on a musical journey of Finland, Russia, the Czech Republic and America.

“Each of the imaginative works in the evening’s program comes from the soul of its people,” remarked Ott. “The audience will experience the persuasion of Sibelius as he urges his countrymen to fight oppression in Finlandia. They’ll walk over immense, desert plains and encounter a Russian expedition and an oriental convoy in Borodin’s In The Steppes of Central Asia. They’ll be transported to the hills of central Europe to hear the lively works of Dvorak’s Slavonic Dances.”

And that’s only the first half of the tour!

Following intermission The POPS maintains its established tradition of moving from classical compositions to popular pieces, changing its heading and sailing for the Americas. First stop, Mexico, with a lively piece featuring the dancers from Tonie’s Dance Workshop of Panama City. From there the orchestra stops at ports of call across our great nation, paying tribute to our greatest cities and including some of the best entertainment music of Louis Armstrong and Broadway. Soloist Chris Klaus, currently residing in Destin and formerly of Huntsville, AL, will accompany the orchestra for an occasional souvenir sung in lyric baritone.

Ott Plots Course for the Season

“Getting to Know You” is the orchestra’s theme for the season, and The POPS’ new conductor has wasted no time reaching out to players, patrons and prospects. “I have often said that it takes three things to make music,” commented Ott. “Somebody has to write it. Somebody has to play it. Somebody has to hear it. Without an audience, the orchestra would have no meaningful reason to perform.

“Music unites us in one single purpose. As The POPS’ new conductor I have the privilege to lead an established orchestra performing in a marvelous concert hall for people of all ages who love great music.”

For his first season Ott has selected music that is colorful, exciting and dramatic. “Each piece is a celebration or reflection of life itself,” he continued. “Within each of the four concerts this season, partons will experience great symphonic music that expresses what life is all about.”

The orchestra has been in rehearsal for eight weeks. “Coming off The POPS’ recent performance of Windborne’s “The Music of Journey” at Aaron Bessant Park the musicians are anxious to return to the Marina Civic Center stage,” states POPS Board President Tammala Spencer. “Season subscriptions are on the rise and we’re pleased to know that more and more patrons are getting to know The POPS.”

Moments with the Maestro

New this year is a pre-concert lecture series which will take place at the Marina Civic Center, Mezzanine Level, 6:45-7:15pm, prior to each regular season concert. Led by the conductor in a comfortable, intimate setting, the public is invited to hear a medley of information such as the thoughts behind the selections, some of the history of the selections, and the nuances to listen and look for during the concert. The series is open to the general public. Admission is free for Baton-level subscribers and $20.00 for all other patrons.

Additional concert dates for the regular 2016-2017 POPS season are January 14, March 11 and April 29, 2017. All regular season concerts will be performed at the Marina Civic Center and will start at 7:30 pm. POPS season tickets are available on our website.
Individual tickets are available at the Marina Civic Center box office, 850-763-4696, or at www.marinaciviccenter.com. Single ticket prices: $29.50 for Adults; $20 for Seniors 65+ and Active Military; $10 for Children.