The annual Days of '47 celebration will officially get under way this week with Salt Lake Philharmonic pops concert on Wednesday at 8 p.m. in the Salt Palace Arena.
Under direction of maestro Eugene Jelesnik, the program will feature a broad range of light classics and pop favorites, along with introduction of the Days of '47 royalty and other celebrities.Tickets for free admission to the concert are available at all ZCMI customer service offices, the Salt Palace box office, Daynes Music, the Marriott Hotel, the visitors centers on Temple Square and from the Newspaper Agency Corp. offices in the Tribune Building.
Guest star of this year's concert is comedian-musician Taff Arnold, who is known as "the witty Welshman." He's been the opening act for such performers as Liza Minnelli, Juliet Prowse, Glen Campbell and Lacy J. Dalton.
Soloists on the program will be soprano Billie Loukas, tenor Robert Peterson and pianist Bob Davis.
Orchestral numbers on Wednesday evening's program will include Rossini's overture to "The Barber of Seville," Johann Strauss' "Voices of Spring," Arditi's "Il Bacio," de Scotto's "Petite Tonkinoise," Jose Padilla's "El Relicario," Bizet's "Carmen Suite," and J.T. Rouse's "Orange Blossom Special" (arranged by Jelesnik).
One unusual item in the program is a "Carnegie Hall Concert Medley," comprised of segments of Tchaikovsky's Concerto No. 1, Rachmaninoff's 2nd Concerto, Grieg's Piano Concerto, Tchaikovsky's Symphony No. 6 ("Pathetique"), and Chopin's "Polonaise," all arranged by Johnny Warrington.
Taff Arnold's musical abilities on the banjo will be showcased in "Breezin' Along with the Breeze" and "Waiting for the Sunrise."
Billie Loukas will be featured in Franz Lehar's "Vilia" (from "The Merry Widow") and Pastelozza's Italian classic, "Ciribiribin."
Peterson will be heard in Stephen Schwartz' "Corner of the Sky" (from "Pippin"), "They Call the Wind Maria" (from Lerner and Lowe's "Paint Your Wagon"), Roger Whittaker's "A New World in the Morning," and "The Impossible Dream" (from "Man of La Mancha").
Both Loukas and Peterson will sing a variety of solos and duets in a medley of tunes from Cole Porter's "Can-Can" and in the program's finale, a medley of western melodies, arranged as a salute to the Days of '47 rodeo.
The philharmonic's pianist, Bob Davis, will perform Gabriel Ruiz' Latin American classic, "Cuanto le Gusta."
The free pops concert is co-sponsored by the Days of '47 Celebration Committee and KSL-TV and Radio in cooperation with the Music Performance Trust Funds of the recording industry and the Salt Lake County Commission.