Heatland Pops & Chorus presents patriotic concert

Friday, May 21, 2010
Jerry Ganiel leads the choir and orchestra during Monday night's practice of a patriotic concert at CrossRoads Fellowship Church in Jackson. (LAURA SIMON)

The Heartland Pops Band & Chorus will perform a patriotic concert Sunday at CrossRoads Fellowship Church.

The ensemble headed by Jerry Ganiel has been performing shows in the area for eight years.

Heartland Pops "is made up mostly of people from the Jackson and Cape Girardeau areas," Ganiel said. "We have band directors, college professors, housewives, husbands, chiropractors, a little bit of everybody in the group."

Ganiel said the group is open to anybody who wants to sing and that Sunday's patriotic concert is a new thing for the group.

"We do a big Christmas concert every year, but this year we're doing this concert [on Sunday], and we're going to do a '50s concert in September," he said.

Sunday's performance will have a patriotic theme, with music spanning from John Philip Sousa marches to a salute to Glenn Miller and Elvis Presley to the chorus' patriotic cantata "Ring All the Bells" by Derric Johnson.

"People ask how Elvis got into this concert, and I just tell them, 'Well, he was in the Army,'" Ganiel said.

In line with the patriotic theme, the concert will feature a few special guests. The program will be narrated by KFVS12 meteorologist Bob Reeves. The Sikeston, Mo.-area singing trio Replica will perform World War II songs, including favorites like "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" and "Beer Barrel Polka."

Ganiel said he wants the audience involved with the show and not just sitting in the background.

"We're asking everybody who comes to bring a little flag so they can wave it during the concert," he said.

There will also be a salute to the veterans in the audience during the performance.

"When we're doing a show, we start [rehearsing] about maybe three months before a show, and we practice at the Immaculate Conception School in Jackson," Ganiel said. "With the band, we send the music out to them, and they get together one time to practice at the end and then we put it all together."

Heartland Pops is not sponsored by any individual or company. The members raise all of the funds it takes to put on performances.

"We raise all of our own money through ticket sales and patron program books," Ganiel said. "That pays for the music, the venues, the publicity. ... We do our budget on each show, just bringing those tickets in help to pay for everything."

To be a part of the Heartland Pops Band & Chorus, call Ganiel at 579-6127 or 243-7473.

"You can also talk to somebody from the Pops chorus; just come to rehearsal and we'll see what you can do," Ganiel said.

The concert is at 2:15 p.m. Sunday and is suitable for all ages. Tickets cost $10, and are available in advance at Shivelbine's in Cape Girardeau as well as at the door day of show. There is a $3 discount for Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts in uniform and veterans.

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