Special to The Explorer

TSO Pops! will open the 2009/10 season with Patriotic Pops, a salute to Veterans Day and tribute to America's heroes of Southern Arizona.

Performances are this Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7, at 7:30 p.m., and Sunday, Nov. 8 at 2 p.m. at the Tucson Music Hall.

Guest conductor Albert-George Schram conducts the TSO Pops! in "a proud program of patriotic music that honors our military and all those who prevail in extraordinarily challenging situations," a release said.

The TSO Chorus, directed by Bruce Chamberlain, joins the celebration with patriotic highlights "The Star-Spangled Banner," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "America," "America the Beautiful" and "God Bless America," plus choral favorites.

Each program opens with a color guard from the Davis-Monthan Air Force Base. A member of the active military will also serve as narrator for a brief introduction to The National Anthem.

The Jim Click Automotive Team is sponsoring the Patriotic Pops performances. Click also plans to attend the performances and recognize local active military and veterans in the audience.

The DM-50, a local volunteer group, with support from Raytheon, has purchased tickets from the TSO, and is distributing them to active military personnel at Davis-Monthan and Fort Huachuca, and to veterans.

The DM-50 is a group of Tucson business and civic leaders who "are dedicated to further enhance and strengthen the relationship between Davis-Monthan Air Force Base personnel and the civilian population of the region; and to improve the quality of life for the service personnel and their families in ways that would demonstrate the respect and appreciation this area has for our military's service to the nation," the release said.

The group functions as an advocate for the base, and attempts to assist in bridging relationships among DM and the commercial, political, educational and social leadership of Tucson and Pima County. It is a non-profit, volunteer service organization with no formal ties to DM.

Guest conductor Albert-George Schram currently serves as resident staff conductor of the Columbus Symphony Orchestra, as a resident conductor of the Nashville Symphony and as a regular guest conductor of the Charlotte Symphony.

He has created a wide-ranging program of favorites for Patriotic Pops.

"I was thinking of Veterans Day," he explains, "so I wanted patriotic, soul-stirring, country-loving tunes with the orchestra. But since we are privileged to have the magnificent TSO Chorus with us, I didn't want to miss an opportunity to showcase some of the greatest choral hits ever written."

Tickets, from $24 to $62, are available online at www.tucsonsymphony.org, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra Box Office located at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue or by phone at 882-8585. TSO Box Office hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Patriotic Pops

Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6-7, 7:30 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 8, 2 p.m.

Tucson Music Hall

Tickets, from $24 to $62, at www.tucsonsymphony.org, the TSO box office at 2175 N. Sixth Avenue, or 882-8585.

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