Vermont Philharmonic to highlight outdoor pops concert, fireworks this Friday

MIDDLEBURY — The Sheldon Museum’s annual outdoor Pops Concert and fireworks are a Vermont summer tradition for Lake Champlain area families and tourists. Celebrate the anniversary of Independence Day with a concert of Broadway standards, pops and patriotic music on Friday, June 26, performed by the Vermont Philharmonic in the meadow behind the Mahaney Center for the Arts at Middlebury College with commanding views of the Green Mountains, followed by a glorious fireworks display.
The grounds will be open at 5:30 p.m. for picnicking with the concert beginning at 7:30. (Rain site is in Kenyon Arena.) The evening will close with breathtaking fireworks — rain or shine. Be sure to bring flashlights, chairs, blankets and a picnic. A refreshment tent with ice cream, popcorn, coffee and water is available.
The honorary chairs of the 2015 Pops Concert are Adèle Pierce, Alice Perine, Jackie Sullivan and family, and Joann Langrock. Together these four Pops Concert committee members represent 81 years of combined community service to the event.
The Vermont Philharmonic was founded in 1959 by Jon Borowicz and is Vermont’s oldest community orchestra. Today, the Philharmonic’s member-musicians, more than 60 strong, are committed to the orchestra’s two-fold mission of sharing their love of music with audiences of all ages and encouraging young musicians to dedicate themselves to their musical education. The Borowicz Scholarship, awarded annually by the orchestra to a Vermont high school musician, provides the opportunity for the winner to perform with the Vermont Philharmonic.
Led by charismatic music director Lou Kosma, the Vermont Philharmonic performs varied programs in communities throughout central and northern Vermont. Kosma is presently a member of the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, teaches privately, and is an adjunct double bass instructor at New Jersey City University. Past affiliations include principal bassist for the American Ballet Theatre, acting principal for the New Jersey Symphony and member of the Chautauqua Symphony for 17 years. Currently, Kosma plays with the Mostly Mozart Festival at Lincoln Center and in 2011 was appointed conductor of the New Jersey City University Orchestra.
Kosma brings charm, energy and talent to the podium. This year Merritt David Janes, a tenor with extensive Broadway musical experience, who is originally from Colchester, will appear with the Philharmonic to provide an extra entertainment bonus for the audience.Janes is agraduate of the Circle in the Square Theater School in New York City and received his bachelor of music degree (vocal and instrumental) from the University of Maine. While he has enjoyed roles in classical, jazz, and pop, Merritt is best known for his Broadway performances. He has appeared in theater productions of “Sweeney Todd,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “Catch Me If You Can,” “The Wedding Singer,” “Phantom of the Opera,” and “Shrek.” He comes from a family of musicians. His mother, Susan Janes, is a violinist and the concertmaster of the Vermont Philharmonic.
Ticket prices are $25 for adults ($20 through June 21) and $10 for ages 12-18. Children under 12 are admitted free, courtesy of donations from sponsors and underwriters. Tickets may be purchased by phone at 802-388-2117, online at www.HenrySheldonMuseum.org or in person at the Sheldon, 1 Park St. in Middlebury. To learn more about the Vermont Philharmonic, visit www.vermontphilharmonic.org.

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