By Pat Ciarrocchi
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Peter Nero and the Philly Pops begins the 2012-2013 Season Friday night with music that’s sure to captivate the dancer in you.
Peter Nero, the iconic music director of the Philly Pops, was in his typical rehearsal position — center stage, standing at his grand piano — leading nearly ninety musicians through a repertoire of the Great American Song Book.
“I feel good, because we are together,” Nero said.
By that, he meant he was together with his Pops, preparing for three performances: one on Friday, October 12th at 8 p.m., and then 2 p.m. matinees on Saturday and Sunday. The season opens with “Dancing and Romancing.”
Musical partners Kirby Ward and Joan Hess are the dancing singers, bringing to life Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers.
At the Kimmel, with the full Pops orchestra filling the stage, Kirby and Joan have to step carefully as they sweep and swing to the edge of the audience.
“It’s unique, there aren’t a whole lot of people doing symphony concerts like this where there is singing and dancing,’ explained Ward. “It’s tricky to set up the order of the show, so we can breathe when we’re singing, after we finish a dance.”
“Pops is for everyone,” said Nero. It’s for people who like music and don’t care what the genre is. I’ll present a symphonic tribute to Richard Rodgers, an 18-minute composition that I wrote with twelve of his songs in their entirety and references to twenty-five more. We have great melodies in there. It’s a kind of tour de force.”
For ticket information on the three performances, visit: www.phillypops.org