‘Victory at Sea’ theme for Atlantic Pops Hero Concert

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Laura Stetser/Pictured from left are Michael Auble, Jillian Moran, Kristianna Gaw, Brinsley Granatella and Hunter Coombs, all eighth-graders who have been invited to play alongside the Atlantic Pops during its upcoming concert. Laura Stetser/Pictured from left are Michael Auble, Jillian Moran, Kristianna Gaw, Brinsley Granatella and Hunter Coombs, all eighth-graders who have been invited to play alongside the Atlantic Pops during its upcoming concert.

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – The Seventh Annual Atlantic Pops Hero Concert will pair budding student musicians with one of the country’s most accomplished conductors.

This year’s concert, titled “Victory at Sea,” gets its title and its music from the classic TV show of the 1950s about World War II naval history. As a tribute to the HERO Campaign for Designated Drivers and the memory of Ensign John Elliot, the Pops will perform memorable patriotic works under the direction of Retired U.S. Navy Lt. Cmdr. John Pastin, who conducted the highly regarded Navy Band from 1995 to 1998, and who will be appearing as guest conductor.

Pastin is now the dean of arts at Rowan University, but always makes time to support the Pops and young musicians, according to Pops director and Fernwood Avenue Middle School teacher Mark Kadetsky.

“We are so fortunate to have someone of his caliber live close by and be willing to lend his valuable time,” Kadetsky said, adding this will be Pastin’s fourth year donating his time. “He’s such a good guy; if it helps the kids, he’ll be there.”

 The student musicians who are selected to play alongside the 75 adult musicians has grown this year to include 25 middle and high school students from Egg Harbor Township, Pinelands, Southern Regional, Buena, Galloway and Absegami for a patriotic musical grand finale. Last year only Egg Harbor Township students were invited to participate.

 Fernwood Avenue Middle School eighth-grader Brinsley Granatella, 13, said rehearsing with Pastin was a learning experience in itself. This is her second year being selected for the opportunity.

 “We are used to how Mr. Kadetsky breaks down the music for us,” said Granatella, who has Kadetsky as her music teacher in school. “Dr. Pastin ran through the whole thing and we had to keep up. We’ve been able to learn from that, to learn the different ways people teach you the music.”

 Classmate Jillian Moran, 13, who was also selected for the second time, said she has the benefit of knowing what to expect now. “I know how to prepare now that I’ve been through it once before,” Moran said.

 Still, the student performers admit they have nerves about the concert.

 Kristinanna Gaw, 13, said they are sitting alongside much more experienced musicians. “There’s a lot of pressure,” she said.

 Granatella said the experience makes them stronger musicians, more equipped to play in different settings and accompany new musicians.

 “It makes you more independent because you have to be sure you know your stuff,” she said.

 Proceeds from the concert will benefit the HERO Campaign and scholarships for local musicians. 

Miss New Jersey Lindsey Petrosh, backed by the Pops, will open the concert performing the national anthem.

Other musical highlights include Steven Reineke's “Portrait of Freedom” conducted by Absegami Band Director Jon Porco. Music Director Mark Kadetsky will conduct “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” featuring the Atlantic Pops singers.

“Flight of the Bumblebee” will feature middle school music teacher and clarinetist Kevin Hrubos. Manahawkin musician and recent Rutgers University graduate Johnny Dondero will make his conducting debut directing the famous march, “American Patrol.”

Other patriotic and heroic musical selections will also be performed to pay tribute to the Hero Campaign and the country’s everyday heroes, Kadetsky said.

See www.atlanticpops.org for details.

If You Go

2013 Atlantic Pops Hero Concert

“Victory at Sea”

Thursday, May 2

Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7

Cygnus Creative Arts Centre, 5045 English Creek Ave., Egg Harbor Township

Admission $5 per person; veterans and active duty military are free

Proceeds benefit HERO Campaign

Go to www.atlanticpops.org


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