On Saturday night, the Davenport Pops Orchestra took the stage to wish itself a happy birthday.
DPops performed their 10th anniversary concert this weekend in front of 200 people at the First and Summerfield Church on College Street. Emily Frost ’16, DPops co-president, said that the concert, titled “Happy Birthday DPops,” featured many of the group’s notable arrangements from past seasons, adding that alumni of the group helped select the concert’s repertoire. The program featured arrangements of Toto’s “Africa,” Kanye West’s “All of the Lights” and “Happy Birthday,” among other works.
“The alumni really played a huge part helping us create a party atmosphere at the concert; we even gathered to cut cake with the alumni, after the concert,” Frost said. “It was really exciting for us as orchestra members to have both former members that we’ve played with as well as members who graduated before our time like the founding member of DPops, Justin Lo, whom a lots of us hadn’t met before.”
DPops conductor Tim Laciano ’15 explained that the group allowed its alumni to vote for pieces to be played at the concert through an online form. “Skyfall” and “All of the Lights” were selected by DPops alumni from a list of songs the orchestra had played before. Laciano added that the orchestra wanted to surprise the alumni with songs, such as those performed in “The Greatest Hits Medley,” whose pieces are associated with humorous anecdotes from the orchestra’s history.
To commemorate the group’s birthday, Max Vinetz ’18 performed an unconventional arrangement of “Happy Birthday.” Laciano noted that Vinetz’s writing his own version of the song follows in the group’s tradition of promoting original student arrangements in its concerts.
The concert was part of a larger reunion weekend for the group’s anniversary that drew 14 of the orchestra’s alumni to the show. As with most DPops concerts, Laciano said, the orchestra employed theatrics, costumes and other performance elements in order to celebrate the alumni’s return to campus.
“We had everything from a unicyclist to a dragon costume to a large poster of a past head conductor eating an ice cream cone,” said Leigh Vila ’17, DPops principal trombonist and co-librarian.
The DPops orchestra was established in the spring of 2005.