Please Don’t Poo Poo the Pops

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sad-clownPlaying pops for fun and profit.

Some orchestral musicians dislike playing Pops concerts…

…really dislike Pops.

These types of orchestra musicians are prone to complain about anything and to be frank, are best to be avoided. It is usually a grumpy minority of highbrow whiners that view playing popular music as a chore — something that is below their intellectual and skill level.

I am never sure why some musicians have this attitude. Some of my favorite music is usually programmed at Pops concerts. What horn player can’t help but to get excited by a piece written by John Williams?

Pops full-time

Imagine if your full time gig was to play nothing but Pops?

Kevin Owen doesn’t have to imagine. He is the principal horn of the Boston Pops.

He admits that his part in the performance can be repetitive. “But who wouldn’t be excited when the crowd bursts into cheers?” he asks.

Pops concerts many times have some fun and challenging horn parts, and audiences genuinely love the stuff.

“I like the French horn a lot, because it is tolerant of failure,” says Owen. “We don’t have to play a lot of notes, very high notes, or very loud notes. What we like to do is play a very simple melody, and the tone is very beautiful.”

Owen took up the French horn because he was “a washout at all the other instruments,” he demurs.

Read the complete feature in a nice article at BU Today.



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