The Naples Philharmonic Orchestra presented a rousing Patriotic Pops last weekend in celebration of Memorial Day, May 30. Guest Conductor, Stuart Chafetz, directed the program with great enthusiasm engaging the audience’s participation singing to selections from Oklahoma and Annie Get Your Gun.
The evening commenced with the Presentation of the Colors by the Immokalee High School Junior ROTC during the Star Spangled Banner. The first half of the program recalled the 1880’s when the “West Was Won.”
A particularly well received arrangement saluted the “Great American TV Westerns” including old favorites like Wild, Wild West, Maverick, Rawhide, Gunsmoke and Bonanza. The audience clearly related to each theme song cleverly arranged by Larry Moore, a friend and colleague of Maestro Chafetz. The Thursday evening audience was hearing the arrangement’s premier performance.
The second half of the program included selections from John Williams, John Philip Sousa and American Patrol by Frank W. Meacham. The orchestra played a richly melodic rendition of America The Beautiful by Samuel Augustus Ward. The arrangement, by Carmen Dragon forfull orchestra, was so beautifully interpreted by the Naples Philharmonic Orchestra that Maestro Chafetz paused to recognize the talents of the musicians and complement the Naples community for supporting such a professional and accomplished company.
A “Salute To The Armed Forces” preceded a medley of the Armed Forces themes during the Presentation of the Colors. Representing the branches of service were:
Army-Peter Thomas, Private, First Class, entered military service, 1943.
Coast Guard- Richard H. Plager, Captain, U. S. Coast Guard Reserve, Retired, entered military service, 1945.
Marine Corps, Robert Hoffman, Captain, U. S. Marine Corps, entered military service, 1957.
Air Force-Bruce Burkhard, Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Air Force Reserve, Retired, entered military service, 1964.
Navy-Donald Peacock, Captain, U. S. Naval Reserve, Retired, entered military service, 1966.
U. S. Special Operations Command, Delta Force, The SEALs-Commander James Burch.
The evening concluded with a stirring performance of God Bless America, the audience rising to participate and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. The talents of the wonderful Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and skill of Guest Conductor Stuart Chafetz blended perfectly to deliver an evening of reminiscence and pride.