Following a successful inaugural concert last summer, ‘Pops In The Park’ is on track to return to Waveny this year.
The Parks & Recreation Commission at its most recent meeting voted unanimously in favor of a June 11 orchestral concert from the balcony at the back of Waveny House.
Featuring the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, the event will be “very similar to what we did last year,” Pops In The Park Chair Doug Kerridge told members of the Commission at their Feb. 8 meeting, held at Lapham Community Center and via videoconference.
“It’s a week earlier than what we did last year, part of our thought being that we wanted to try it before the end of the school year which is the 14th [of June] this year, so we know we lost the families who went on vacation as soon as school let out,” Kerridge said. “So we wanted to see how that would work. And this year the theme is going to be ‘A Night in Hollywood.’ So we are going to do a Hollywood theme, things that would be in movies and maybe Broadway.”
Parks & Rec Chair George Benington, Secretary Francesca Segalas and Commissioners Steve Haberstroh, Hank Green, Doug Murphy, Keith Richey, Timothy Klimpl, Gene Goodman and Jake Granito voted in favor. Commissioner Susan Lione was absent.
Last year’s free concert saw all 1,200 tickets claimed, Kerridge said, with no issues in terms of parking or people damaging the grass. This year, Pops In The Park is seeking to up attendance to 1,500, with an eye on reaching out directly to New Canaan seniors, he said.
Sandra Miklave, executive director of the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, said attendees of last year’s event provided feedback regarding sound as well as the location of portable toilets. Specifically, those in the rear of the audience struggled at times to hear the strings section (the brass was fine), and those who needed to use one of two disabled porta-potties had a difficult time accessing them since it required walking or being helped the long way around Waveny House to the east parking lot. (Miklave also noted that the 12 porta-potties rented for the event were the single largest expense for Pops In The Park other than the orchestra itself, and that they were under-used. Granito said he would discuss the matter with the event organizers.)
Commissioners asked whether it would be a one-day event (yes, in the evening like last year), whether June 18 would be the rain date (yes) and whether this year’s Hollywood theme would mean there was no classical music.
“I loved that,” Segalas said of the classical music at the 2022 concert.
Miklave said, “It’s orchestral music, and depending on ‘Hollywood,’ if we did something that was a big classical piece in a movie or something like that, but it probably would not be the traditional Beethoven or Mozart.”
She added that the repertoire hasn’t been finalized yet.
Kerridge noted that “The Bad News Bears” has Rossini in it.
“We played around with a few ideas but there will be some classic pieces,” he said. “John Williams and that sort of thing.”