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Classical View: Pioneer Band plays music of Disney in West Park, Allentown

“The children’s concert is a Pioneer Band tradition that allows us to share music with those who are young and those who are young at heart,” says Robert Billig, Conductor of the Pioneer Band of Allentown.

The Pioneer Band of Allentown presents “Children’s Concert: Music of Disney,” 7:30 p.m. June 9, West Park, Allentown.

The concert, packed with Disney favorites, opens with “Disney Movie Magic” arranged by James Christensen featuring the music of popular Disney films, “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Lion King,” “Tarzan,” “Toy Story” and “Monsters, Inc.”

In 2012, Disney-Pixar released “Brave” featuring Merida, the first character in the Disney Princess line created by Pixar. Set in the Scottish Highlands, it tells the story of Princess Merida, a beastly curse and a quest to save the kingdom of Dunbroch. “Highlights from Brave” arranged by Sean O’Loughlin includes the selections “Touch the Sky,” “Noble Maiden Fair,” “The Games” and “Merida’s Home.”

The Pioneer Band performs “At the Movies with John Williams” arranged by Justin Williams, featuring selections from “Superman” (1978), “Home Alone” (1990) and “Hook” (1991).

With more than 150 film scores to his credit, John Towner Williams is one of the most revered and world-renowned composers. After studying piano at The Juilliard School, he started his music career as a Hollywood studio pianist prior to composing for films.

“Selections from Moana” arranged by Jay Bocook follows. The 2016 film introduced Moana, Disney’s 12th princess. Set in ancient Polynesia, Moana’s task is to reunite a mystical relic with the goddess Te Fiti. While the plot is original, the inspiration comes from Polynesian myths.

The audience is invited to join band vocalist Amelia Gamble in a Disney sing-along of “Beauty and the Beast” arranged by John Moss, “Highlights from Frozen” arranged by Sean O’Loughlin and “Selections from Mary Poppins” arranged by Ted Ricketts.

Children have an opportunity to join the band in “More Cowbell,” arranged by Michael Brown, and conduct the band in a march.

The concert closes with “The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” arranged by Paul Murtha based on original music by John Williams and Harry Gregson. Released in 2005, the film finds four British children evacuated to the countryside during World War II. They find a wardrobe that leads to the fantasy world of Narnia where they ally with a lion against the forces of the White Witch.

“I have performed concerts at Allentown’s West Park for 49 years. The youth are our future and hopefully by playing music that they can relate to will form a foundation that will keep people coming to band concerts at West Park and other venues,” says Billig.

“Children’s Concert: Music of Disney,” Pioneer Band of Allentown, 7:30 p.m. June 9, West Park, 16th and Linden streets, Allentown; inclement weather location: Lehigh Valley Active Life, 1633 Elm St., Allentown; Tickets not required. Free. Information: https://pioneerband.com

“Classical View” is a column about classical music concerts, conductors and performers. To request coverage, email: Paul Willistein, Focus editor, pwillistein@tnonline.com

Robert Billig