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Pops with a Dixieland twist

July 2, 2012

The same flare as usual, with an added pinch of Dixieland, is what can be expected from this year's Pops in the Park entertainment.

Before the Big Spring Symphony takes the stage Tuesday at the annual event and the fireworks go off, Don Turner will take the stage with his Dixieland jazz band from 6:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.

Turner, a former Big Spring resident, will perform as the pre-show entertainment. The audience can expect to hear New Orleans stye Dixieland music, Turner said.

“People can expect to have a fun and happy time,” Turner said. “We will be playing a style of music from the 20s, 30s and 40s with a few original pieces. One of the pieces was even written by a local Big Spring man.”

Before starting the Dixieland band about five years ago, Turner was a band director and jazz instructor. In 1965 he moved to Big Spring and was band director for two years at Runnels Junior High. He was also the high school jazz band director for several years before leaving to pursue a doctorate at North Texas State University.

“Big Spring has a special place in my heart from the short time I spent here,” Turner said. “I am performing in Big Spring once again with the Dixieland band due to an invitation from the Pops in the Park committee as well as Big Spring Symphony Director Keith Graumann.”

In addition to playing in the Dixieland band, Turner has served as the contractor for the Big Spring Symphony for more than 20 years. His wife, Sue Baer, has also served as the concert master for the symphony for more than 25 years.

Gates are expected to open at 5 p.m. Tuesday, along with the food vendors which will be located at the top of the amphitheater.

“We are looking forward to having someone local do our pre-show. We think he is someone people will enjoy hearing,” Pops in the Park Treasurer Debbye ValVerde said.

Following the pre-show will be the traditional performance by the Big Spring Symphony and flag ceremony at 8 p.m.

The fly over — scheduled to take place at 8:28 p.m.— which will be put on once again by the Commemorative Air Force Museum of Midland and will include four planes.

The video presentation recognizing local servicemen and women will begin at 9:15 p.m. The firework display, provided by Atlas — a Fort Worth company — will be choreographed to the Symphony's music again and is set to begin at 9:35 p.m.

“We are expecting new things this year since we are using a new company, but we are still expecting the same great big show we have had in the past,” ValVerde said.

Donations are still being accepted at the chamber office at 215 W. Third or by mail to P.O. Box 1391 c/o Big Spring Chamber of Commerce.
“We hope to see everyone there,” ValVerde said.

To get more information, stop by or call the Big Spring Area Chamber of Commerce at 432-263-7641.

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