The Atlanta Braves carry on the tenor tradition Timothy miller chanting “God Bless America” ââat every Sunday night home game, even during non-audience games for the pandemic. Miller, an accomplished opera and concert singer, will share this signature performance at a concert this Sunday with the Atlanta Pop Orchestra at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center. He joined “City Lights” host Lois Reitzes with Atlanta Pops drummer and executive director Kevin Leahy to talk about the Orchestra’s exciting repertoire and their return to concerts after a long hiatus.
The Pops were able to interrupt the long hiatus with some online streaming performances, but Leahy assures us there’s nothing quite like coming back in front of a live audience. âWe pride ourselves on being able to pivot and being a nimble orchestra, which can kind of roll with the punches,â he said.
Both administrator of the Orchestra and virtuoso within it, Leahy strives to make Pops a pleasure for all from all angles. âI was fortunate enough to play drums with this orchestra for about 15 years,â Leahy said. “It’s not really a regular position in a symphony orchestra, but where this orchestra mixes both strings, brass, percussion and woodwinds of a typical orchestra with a jazz-pop rhythm section, I knew that I really wanted to keep that position. “
He described the work of carrying on Pop’s illustrious legacy. âDiscovering history was a treat for meâ¦ and seeing that back then it was new and different, and they were collaborating with the pop stars of those timesâ¦ Isaac Hayes in the 60s and James Brown in the ’70s, and Chet Atkins in the’ 80s and ’90s, and seeing these shows and seeing the commercials for these shows was really inspiring, âLeahy said. âIt asked me, ‘Okay, what does that look like today? “”
Among other things, it sounds like Miller’s accomplished voice carrying the Pops through a diverse lineup of classics. âIt’s definitely always a pleasure to join the Pops Orchestra because I get the chance to sing things that I wouldn’t normally sing,â Miller said. signature performance on the program. We are also going to do, from the third act of “Rigoletto” by Verdi, we are going to do “La Donna Ã Mobileâ¦”. . ‘â
Timothy Miller will also perform his signature “God Bless America” ââat the Roswell concert on Sunday, a treat for those who haven’t been able to hit Braves Stadium recently. “Interestingly enough, I was able to do that during the pandemic as well, which was very strange, I have to admit – seeing all the cardboard cutouts in the stadium, it was very strange,” Miller said. âBeing there on your own with essentially only the ground crew and superiors in the stands; I’m glad to see the supporters back in the stadium.
Such a diverse repertoire requires extraordinary versatility, as Miller must move nimbly from one singing style to another. âIt’s a bit of a challenge, and I’ll tell you, it’s more mental than anything. Fortunately, here in the United States, we are trained during our undergraduate yearsâ¦ to have to perform a variety of repertoires on the same program, âhe said. âHaving to switch between languages ââand stylesâ¦ It’s tricky, but it’s definitely doable, and it’s something I like to challenge. “
The Atlanta Pops Orchestra is performing at the Roswell Cultural Arts Center this Sunday, September 19 at 7 p.m. More information and tickets are available at https://www.roswellgov.com/discover-us/cultural-arts-center.