The Ozark Festival Orchestra has begun rehearsals for the final concert of its 39th season, its annual Pops in the Park presentation, planned for Sunday, April 14 at the Monett City Park Casino.
This will also be the inaugural Marty Beckwith Memorial Concert, in honor of Marty Beckwith, a founding member of the OFO who played for more than two decades, retiring at age 80. Even after retirement, she did not miss concerts to continued to encourage attendance at performances.
Music Director Todd Borgmann has selected a wide spectrum of pops favorites. Music will include a suite from the Broadway smash hit "Hamilton" and the films "The Greatest Showman" and "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them." The theme from "James Bond" films and a suite of selections from George and Ira Gershwin, some written for films, round out the Hollywood selections.
Heading into the dance halls of the 1930s and 1940s, the concert will offer a tribute to trumpet giant Louis Armstrong. "A Salute to the Big Bands" offers greatest hits from Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey.
A musical salute to New Orleans, Chicago and Chinatown will wrap up the concert with sounds of America's cityscapes.
The Pops in the Park concert is a gala fundraiser for the orchestra to help meet season expenses. Offerings also include homemade pie and ice cream. Admission is $10 for adults, seniors included. Children 12 and under will be admitted for $5.
To accommodate the food, doors will open at 1:30 p.m. The music will start at 2:15 p.m.
A silent auction for lovers of the arts will again be available. Furniture, art prints, recordings, music books, specialty food baskets from Trader Joe’s and other treats will be available for bids in the Casino lobby. A live auction for specialty pies will be held before the conclusion of the concert.
The OFO is a community orchestra composed of players from southwest Missouri and nearby towns, focusing primarily on classical music. Rehearsals are held weekly in Monett. The orchestra is supported by memberships, local foundations, ads in the orchestra program book and funds managed by the Monett Community Foundation.