SOUTH COUNTY — Monterey County Pops! orchestra’s “Salute to Veterans” concerts, performed in conjunction with the Veterans Day weekend, have been so well-received by hundreds of South County residents for the past four years that the Pops are bringing it back for another free concert at the King City High School Auditorium.

The program will feature the 15-member, fully professional brass and percussion ensemble of the Pops, performing in the historic Robert Stanton Theatre on Saturday, Nov. 11.

The performance will be conducted and hosted by Pops Conductor and Music Director Dr. Carl Christensen.

The production is co-sponsored by Southern Monterey County Center for the Performing Arts, which has for more than 25 years provided support for the restoration, maintenance and improvement of the historic 77-year-old auditorium.

The concert begins at 7 p.m. and will focus on pops, patriotic and Americana themes, along with special dancing and other performances featuring South County youth talent.

“We are so pleased and excited to be performing again in King City at the wonderful Robert Stanton Theatre,” said Christensen. “Our mission is to bring pops and patriotic orchestral music performed by professional musicians to Monterey County residents free of charge.”

This and other free Pops performances are made possible by donations, sponsorships and foundation grants.

“We are delighted to have the Pops orchestra perform in our high school auditorium,” said John Pekema, president of the board of Southern Monterey Center for the Performing Arts.

The auditorium was designed by renowned architect Robert Stanton and constructed during the Great Depression and completed in 1939. It is on the National Register of Historic Buildings.

“The amazing thing is that these talented musicians are presenting their tribute to veterans free,” Pekema added. “Opportunities like this don’t come very often to King City — professional musicians playing uplifting patriotic and classic American music in a historic building, which many believe to be nearly acoustically perfect. We’ve had amazingly appreciative audiences for the past three years, and I encourage everyone to come and enjoy an equally wonderful night of great melodies.”


Enjoy fine wine and great food, then a patriotic concert

In addition to enjoying a first-rate concert Nov. 11, South County residents are once again invited to partake in a “progressive wine and hors d’oeuvres” fundraiser at three homes across the street from the KCHS auditorium preceding the musical festivities.

Southern Monterey County Center for the Performing Arts is offering residents the opportunity to partake of heavy hors d’oeuvres, along with an assortment of wines from two Central Coast vintners.

Tickets are $40 per person and must be purchased in advance. They are available at King City Glass, 600A Broadway, as well as from SoMoCo Center board members (Stacey Azcona, Miguel and Dorothy Errea, Brent Green, Lincoln Hatch, John Jernigan, Roger Dodd, Robert Walton, Carole Morris, Janene Norum, John Pekema, Wes Beebe, Wes Beebe and Raye Ann Houx).

“We’ll have enough food that you won’t need dinner,” promised Pekema. “We’re mixing it up this year with a variety of delectables, including a baked potato bar, Swiss sausage, pulled pork sliders and tacos from Fernando’s mobile kitchen from Tacos Los Potrancos.

Serving begins at 4:30 p.m. and continues until about 7 p.m.

Proceeds will help Southern Monterey County Center for the Performing Arts in its ongoing mission to preserve and maintain the stately Robert Stanton Theatre. The group rescued the building from a sorry state of disrepair more than 25 years ago and has been working ever since to continue to modernize and preserve the venerable historic landmark.

“We had another enthusiastic response last year,” Pekema noted, “and I’m hoping for an even better show of support from alumni and supporters of KCHS and its auditorium. We’re limited to selling about 150 tickets, due to space limitations at our hosts’ homes, so if you’re thinking about enjoying some great snacks and wine followed by an uplifting musical tribute, give us a call.”

For tickets or more information, call Pekema at 385-1933 or any of the aforementioned board members.

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