Wind Ensemble keeps dads in mind for ‘POPS’ concert

Dad’s Weekend is approaching quickly and with it, all the events designed to keep the fathers of Cougs entertained. WSU’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble and the School of Music will present their annual “POPS” concert at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

The concert’s name comes from the play on the word “pops,” said Danh Pham, conductor of the symphonic wind ensemble.

“Obviously, it’s ‘pops’ as in father for Dad’s Weekend, but also for the pops of color and lightness that will happen throughout the performance,” Pham said.

Throughout the concert, the music will shift from fairly heavy and serious, to light and fun-filled, Pham said. The first portion of the concert will be a preview for the Western International Band Clinic (WIBC) concert happening in a few weeks.

The next portion will be much more light-hearted, featuring a clarinet piece that mimics the walking of a dog, Pham said.

“I think the walking the dog piece will be one of the crowd’s favorites, because it’s fun and exciting and easy to have a connection with,” he said.

The “POPS” concert is early on Sunday to accommodate the parents leaving town.

“The idea was to offer a short 45-minute-long concert that the parents could enjoy in the morning and be on the road heading back to the west side or wherever else they’re from,” Pham said.

This concert is different from other regular wind ensemble concerts, because it takes place on a weekend. In general, the concerts are on weekdays as to not have to ask the students to give up their free time on the weekend, Pham said. Because this concert is on a weekend, and especially because it’s Dad’s Weekend, this will be one of the only concerts parents get to see.

“We hope to see a lot of band families at the concert on Sunday,” Pham said.

Pham appreciates the hugely diverse group of students who all work together in the wind ensemble to achieve a common goal. While students tend to focus on themselves throughout college, the wind ensemble allows musicians to be part of something bigger, he said.

“It’s very gratifying to do something with so many other people for an audience like this,” Pham said. “For some people, this group will be their peak musical experience in their whole life.”

The Wind Ensemble “POPS” Concert will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Sunday in the Bryan Hall Theatre. General admission is $10, and proceeds go to purchasing more music stands and chairs for the School of Music.