Golden West Pops plans patriotic set for summer concert

"Fun" was the word that Pollyanna Gorman repeated when she described Golden West Pops.

"We have a lot of fun performing," said Gorman, the group's conductor and executive director. "We play fun music, and we really are a family."

Golden West Pops will play a mix of genres and songs Sunday evening as part of the Huntington Beach Concert Band's Summer Series.

The band mostly plays "pops" music, Gorman said.

"We usually play a lot of medleys and recognizable pieces that really engage the audience," she said, adding that Golden West Pops has pieces from "Wicked," Andrew Lloyd Webber and Queen in its repertoire. The band also consists of mostly wind instruments, like flutes, oboes and clarinets, along with various percussion and basses.

Sunday's event has been designated Spirit of '45 Day, in keeping with the national event of the same name honoring the legacy of the World War II generation, and Gorman said the band will play songs to recognize the veterans.

Tunes like "The Homefront" and "Midway March," along with other pops pieces like "Tennessee Salute" and "Amazing Grace," are on the set list.

Gorman said the band, now 40 members strong, began in 2003 when Golden West College ended its symphonic music program and some of the members sought a new place to perform.

"We decided we were not done making music together," she said.

Since then, the group has performed all over Orange County, including the Bella Terra shopping center and a car show in Tustin. It has also served as the pre-fireworks group at the Huntington Beach Fourth of July celebration and toured San Diego, Palm Springs and Cambria.

Golden West Pops has a "family-type" feel, Gorman said. She also said the group is self-funded and entirely made up of volunteers, including Gorman, who works at a mortgage company in Irvine.

"[Being self-funded] can be difficult," she said. "A lot of the venues that used to be able to pay us to perform have cut back due to the tough times we are all facing. But we persevere."

Gorman urges the public to attend Sunday's performance because, and here is that word again, it will be fun for the audience and the musicians, she said.

"This is going to be a really great show," she said. "We are a very patriotic group, and with this concert landing on the Spirit of '45 Day, I am really making the most of it."

If You Go

What: Golden West Pops

Where: Huntington Central Park behind the library, 7111 Talbert Ave., Huntington Beach

When: 5 p.m. Sunday

Cost: Free

Information: or

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