Entertainment » Music

The New York Pops Gets Interactive for 30th Year

by JC Alvarez
Friday Nov 2, 2012

Steven Reineke has a lot to be excited about this season. The always charming and equally charismatic musical director and conductor of the New York Pops is entering his fourth year at the podium, leading the most prestigious group of musicians in the country, under the most famous roof in New York City. Every musician makes it the pinnacle of his or her career to get to Carnegie Hall. Reineke and his orchestra get to call it their home.

"We kicked off this 30th anniversary in style," the musical director told us, "with our big evening of Rodgers & Hammerstein." That performance inaugurated the New York Pops 30th Anniversary season and was spotlighted with performances that included Kelli O'Hara and Paulo Szot among others. Dedicated to keeping his audience on their toes, Reineke is promising a very unique experience for their upcoming Nov 9th engagement.

"One selection of the program will be chosen by the audience," he revealed. Through the use of social networking and the interactivity of Facebook, attendees can influence the direction of the evening's entertainment. "I've chosen three different pieces," which fans can vote for by visiting the New York Pops Facebook page.

"We'll have everything prepared and ready to go and I'll announce the winner live along with the orchestra from the stage. It's the first time that we're doing this." This season will feature some of the biggest surprises yet, and more of the innovation for which Reineke has become known.

Making Music Cool Again

Due to the commercialization of musicals in film and television, there is now an entirely new audience embracing the New York Pops. "I think our age demographic has changed a little bit," the musical director notes. "Based on the programming that we’re doing, I’ve certainly noticed a lot younger people who’ve joined our core audience." With television series like "Smash" and "Glee" still growing in popularity, it’s bringing out a new appreciation in an evening of classical orchestrations.

"There’s been a lot of Broadway going to Hollywood, and Hollywood coming to Broadway," Reineke insists. "The crossover is not as separate anymore." To that end the New York Pops will perform in March a program set to feature Broadway and television star Megan Hilty. "She’s a force of nature! We’re very excited to have her in a show."

Since joining the New York Pops it’s been a goal of Reineke’s to make a night out at Carnegie Hall cool again. "It was very important for me to build trust with our audience," he says. "It’s important to be the liaison between those seats in the house and the orchestra." In the four years that he’s been the conductor for the New York Pops, his popularity and personality have continued to lure fans in. "They know that they’ll always get something new." And this season will be one to watch closely.

Songs of the Season

"It’s going to be a terrific year," Reineke shared. "We’re doing something very different for the holidays this year." Joining Reineke and the New York Pops for the annual highly anticipated holiday concerts will be featured artists Pink Martini. "If the United Nations had a house band in the 1960’s, they would be it. They’re a really incredible band and they are all classically trained. Their music is very eclectic." Pink Martini recently released a globally influenced holiday album called "Joy to the World". "They’ve never performed with a full orchestra, so the New York Pops will be joining in."

And how does the musical director top last season’s end to the program? "We’re going to close the season with a concert dedicated to celebrating Stephen Schwartz." There will be an incredible array of special guests participating to celebrate the career and contributions of one of the most gifted American lyricist and composers. Coincidentally the show will run in conjunction with the 10th year of the Broadway hit "Wicked." "It’ll be a retrospective of his life, including some of his Disney work and symphonic pieces." With a dash of Steven Reineke and the New York Pops, we will be reminded as to what popular music is really all about.

The New York Pops lead by Music Director Steven Reineke continues to celebrate its 30th anniversary with a special evening with the orchestra...by special request. Join them on Friday, Nov 9 @ 2pm at Carnegie Hall. For tickets and for more information on upcoming dates on this year’s season goto www.carnegiehall.org or call (212) 247-7800. You can also visit the box office at Carnegie Hall located at 57th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan.

Native New Yorker JC Alvarez is a pop-culture enthusiast and the nightlife chronicler of the club scene and its celebrity denizens from coast-to-coast. He is the on-air host of the nationally syndicated radio show "Out Loud & Live!" and is also on the panel of the local-access talk show "Talking About".


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