A concert with 'pop'

On Saturday, Feb. 6, young Guilderland musicians performed at the high school's annual pops concert, which featured 400 performers from the school's choir, bands and orchestras.

According to Pam Travers, president of Guilderland Music, Parents, and Friends, the pops performance is the one concert that involves all high school music groups.

The theme for the concert changes from year to year. Last year it was "Pops Goes to Broadway." This year, it was "Pops Goes to the Movies."

Kathleen Ehlinger, the band's conductor, said students and teachers brainstormed ideas for the performance in the beginning of the school year, and eventually decided on the movies theme. The students began to practice in November, and rehearsals continued up until the Friday before concert.

Paul Travers, a 17-year-old junior at the high school, has taken part in the annual concert since his freshman year. He currently sings in the choir and plays in the wind ensemble and symphony orchestra. The day before the concert, he described the attention the students devote to the effort.

"It's always a very exciting time. We play music that's well known to the public," said Travers.

He said the fact that the music performed at the concert is so well known to the public adds to intensity of the preparation.

"If we screw up, people know because they know the music," he said.

Joshua Palagyi, a 16-year-old junior at the high school, said "the cool thing about 'Pops' is every group performs."

On the day of the concert, parents, teachers and students set up tables and decorations in an effort to convert the high school gym into a cabaret, complete with waiters and waitresses and refreshments.

The "Pops" concerts began in 1971 and were originally performed at Farnsworth Middle School, however the concert eventually moved to the high school because of the need for additional space.

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