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Plumas goes Pops! Spring concert series in the works

Despite its rough and tumble image in the 1860s, the Comstock and those that worked it made huge efforts to bring some culture to where they lived. Even then, they saw the value in spending an evening enjoying the arts, be it opera, stage performances or orchestral presentations.

Although Plumas County may not be as “raw” as it was a century and a half ago, its residents still long for exposure to the great art of the world. At least that’s the way some feel, and the Plumas Sierra County Fair Foundation has decided to do something about that.

“Plumas Goes Pops!” is a series of concerts to be held at the Plumas Sierra County Fairgrounds, featuring musicians from the Reno Pops Orchestra. These performances will bring popular and exciting orchestral music to our rural county that is on par with much larger cities.

The Reno Pops is conducted by Chester/Lake Almanor product Jane Brown. Brown graduated from Chester High School and earned a Bachelors of Music degree from Brigham Young University.

She has taught music for the Plumas Unified School District and began conducting symphonic music in 2001. She was appointed to conduct the Reno Philharmonic Youth Symphony Orchestra where she inspired hundreds of young musicians in Northern Nevada for four years.

In 2004, she was selected to conduct and serve as musical director for the Reno Pops Orchestra. Through her many concerts over the years, a following has developed in Plumas County and a Reno Pops performance is always worth the trip to Reno.

In 2013 she was appointed the conductor of the Ruby Mountain Symphony in Elko, Nevada.

Her career goal, as well as the Reno Pops’ goal, is to seek to help children and adults in our community explore a wide range of orchestral music,” They do this through innovative educational programs and offering as many accessible performances as possible. We are fortunate to have them willing to make Plumas County part of that goal.

The Reno Pops is a wonderful amalgamation of musicians, from working professionals to advanced high school artists, including music teachers, hobbyists and retired folk. They perform works by the world’s greatest composers, both old and new. From a Bach fugue to a John Williams Star Wars symphony, listeners are delighted by the variety and familiarity that is offered.

Concert series

Brown has put together a series of four concerts, each one presenting a variety of works guaranteed to please veteran concert goers, and inspire novices and youngsters. Forget about any stereotypes you may have about sitting in a concert hall listening to a one hour symphony of melancholy notes. When these performances are over, you will definitely want more.

The series kicks off on the evening of Saturday, March 14, in Serpilio “Concert” Hall at the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds. This event will be performed by a string orchestra with piano and percussion, performing the works of Vivaldi’s first movement of “Four Seasons.”

Other works by Joplin, Strauss, Tchaikovsky and even Gershwin, to name a few, will be presented.

The second concert will feature a woodwind quintet and piano Saturday, April 11. This performance will include Prokofiev’s wonderful “Peter and the Wolf” and works by Mozart. This is an excellent opportunity to introduce our youth to this sort of music and build an appreciation that will only serve to  enhance their lives.

The third in the series will feature the Sierra Brass Quintet; the Faculty Quintet of the University of Nevada, Reno Department of Music that is sure to bring people to their feet.

Works will range from the classic, Gabrieli’s Canzona Per Sonare no. 4, to the contemporary, “You’ve Got A Friend In Me” by Randy Newman. The performance will also include selections from “West Side Story.” It will take place Saturday, May 9.

The climax of the Plumas Goes Pops series will happen Saturday, June 13, with the entire Reno Pops Orchestra performing works by Rimsky-Korsakov, John Williams, and a medley from “Chicago” — all highlighted by Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue.” Each performance begins at 7 p.m.

The PSCF Foundation is hoping to raise enough money to not only break even on the series, but to generate additional funds to continue its work in improving the Plumas-Sierra County Fairgrounds. Part of that mission is promoting the fairgrounds as a vital part of Plumas County, and by offering programs like this, the Foundation feels it is accomplishing its goal.

The cost of this series is not small, and the Foundation hopes to sell at least 200 season tickets to cover most of the expense. Tickets are available at Plumas Bank branches and the Fair Office in Quincy.

Individual performance tickets cost $20 for adults and $10 for students, 18 and under. Feather River College students with college identification are included in the $10 price. Season tickets, including all four concerts, are $70, with discounts available for members of Plumas Arts, Friends of the Library, Plumas County Museum Association and the PSCF Foundation.

There are special offers for those wishing to show greater support of Plumas Goes Pops; including special seating, receptions and promotional opportunities. Details are available by calling 283-6272.

Organizers hope the community sees the value in this sort of performance and shows its support by purchasing tickets or a sponsorship. Obviously, without that support, it is impossible to bring this caliber of presentation to our County. While that is not the end of the world, it is certainly one less thing that could make our world a better place.

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