Matt Catingub is Glendale Pops Orchestra's spark plug

Last December, Glendale's Alex Theatre hosted its first holiday concert with the resident Glendale Pops Orchestra. Less than a year old, the band is still in the process of finding its place in the tight-knit community and reaching out to the larger Southern California audience. But leader Matt Catingub, a skilled music veteran whose ability to see past the score paper, is giving this enterprise a good chance of survival.

The show had a healthy attendance (less than 300 short of the Alex's 1,400 capacity) and drew a lot of familial groups and friends. Through his experience as itinerant conductor and pops arranger-bandleader, Catingub knows about building an audience. Almost as soon as he assumed this post, he formed the complementary Glendale Pops Youth Chorus. Put school kids onstage and their families are sure to attend.

Catingub conducted the band, served as affable frontman, sang and played piano solos. He also arranged and orchestrated all of the music for the evening. It was bright, swinging and had the requisite seasonal flavor ticket holders expected. Not many in the crowd knew it, but the orchestra — with a sizable string component — is made up some of the best musicians in the Hollywood studios.

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Matt Catingub: Alex Theatre needs everyone's support

Area stages undaunted by times

-- Kirk Silsbee, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Photo: Matt Catingub is conductor of the Glendale Pops Orchestra. Credit: Anne Cusack / Los Angeles Times / December 9, 2011

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