On Saturday March 22 and Sunday March 23, Holliston High School will host the annual POPS concert, in which 24 musical acts will perform along with the music department’s large band and choral ensembles.
Following Mr. Stuart Britton’s retirement last year, the new chorus director, Mr. Maxwell Evrard is excited to experience his first POPS concert, which he and band director, Mr. Sean Bilodeau, believe has gone through many positive changes this year.
One of these changes was encouraging students from the whole school to audition.
“[This year] 24 different people got accepted; we had over 40 people audition,” said Mr. Evrard.
Mr. Bilodeau said that POPS is a “very engaging student-focused endeavor,” and this year “we also made a very concerted effort to reach out to people outside of ‘the music department.’ ”
“I feel like in the past that some of those kids didn’t get the opportunity to audition…so there’s definitely a broader netcast,” said Mr. Bilodeau.
Some students believe that Mr. Evrard had a big role in this change.
“Mr. Britton was very closed off …when it came to the kids he encouraged to audition,” said sophomore band member Matthew Perera.
In addition to including more students in the show, Mr. Bilodeau and Mr. Evrard also expanded their advertising for the event, creating and distributing new posters in hopes to attract a greater audience.
Mr. Evrard said that he wants to “bring it to an authentic audience, meaning people that don’t know us.”
Of the 24 different acts performing, Perera is in two of them, his own solo act, and a trumpet quintet. He will also perform with the concert band and jazz band.
Perera said that POPS doesn’t usually conflict with any other after-school activities, “mainly because it’s like right in between the sports seasons.” This gives many students like Perera the opportunity to practice, which Perera tries to do for about an hour a day.
Along with expanding the concert, two other major changes have gone into effect to help bring more authenticity to the concert.
The music department will no longer allow pre-recorded tracks to be used. This means that all of the music will be live, unlike last year where some acts used pre-recorded karaoke tracks. Also, this year’s event will feature student emcees for the first time.
Tickets can be purchased at the door and are $10 for adults, $5 for students and seniors. Refreshments, snacks, and desserts will be available for purchase during the concert.