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Photo by Kyle Brown, from the Apt613 flickr pool.

NAC Pops: Orchestral music’s gateway drug

By She Who Must Be Obeyed on January 19, 2017

So I went to a great show at the NAC and I wrote about it and then because I left WordPress inactive for 15 minutes, I got booted out and lost everything.  Grrr.  Sadly, that’s not the first time that’s happened so my self-loathing is high right now.  On the plus side, it’s the first time it’s happened in 2017.

Anyhoo, I had written about the physical transformation taking place for the sesquicentennial.  And I wrote about the other, quieter change that has been afoot at the NAC for some years now.  A movement to make the NAC more relevant and accessible to all.  I suggested that if you wanted to give the kinder, gentler NAC a try, you might want to start with a Pops concert.

I sadly missed The Music of Star Wars (December) due to the flu but I did catch the first Pops concert of this year, a tribute to the 80s.  I brought along my 14 year old daughter, a convert to Pops ever since we saw the pairing of classical music and circus performances.  But even she had some trepidation, being unfamiliar with 1980s music.

She needn’t have worried because she knew a good portion of the tunes in the first half.  And by the second part, she was so engaged by the two vocalists and the impresario that it didn’t matter if the songs were unknown.  The NAC always brings in talented and witty performers to animate the music.

Two days after the performance, when I picked her up from a night class and we drove by the NAC, she told me that she wants to see all of the monthly Pops concerts this season.  Which brings me to Live Rush, a program that offers last minute tickets to those between 13-29.  For the sweet, sweet price of $15.  Youth can buy up to two tickets and the guest can be any age.

So it looks like my teen will get to see Ingrid Bergman and Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca Live!, accompanied by the full NAC orchestra.  Wow.  What a way to see that movie for the first time.  She’ll also be entertained by Tom Cochrane’s Mad Mad World Tour (March), From Paris to Broadway (April) and The Tenors (June).

Tickets can be purchased for individual performances but the best way to save money and get in a goodly dose of the arts is to subscribe to one of the many packages offered by the NAC.  If you happen to take in one of these concerts, look out for my daughter and say hi.  She’ll be the one with the partially shaved head, goth make-up and ripped jeans.  On the other hand, there will hopefully be a bunch of people matching that description at the show.

Upcoming NAC Pops concerts:

She Who Must Be Obeyed blogs about budget travel and food at