This go-round, the Macon Pops merriment is all about Bond — James Bond.
“We’re closing the street in front of the Grand Opera House and putting a tent up to create Casino Royale for people to enjoy when the doors open at 6:30 p.m.,” said Macon resident Steve Moretti, the president, CEO and drummer for Macon Pops. “There’ll be more surprises and things of special interest to Bond fans, maybe some things with wheels, some photo ops, things we think will add to the fun of the whole evening which is what a Macon Pops concert is all about.”
And of course, Moretti said the music is Bond — all Bond.
“It’s a mix of the movie theme songs, soundtrack music and other thoroughly Bond-inspired secret agent music,” he said. “Honestly, the Bond theme is a little unusual for us because a lot of Pops orchestras have done Bond-themed programs. It’s closer to the traditional Pops world. But you’ll see we’re adding our own cutting-edge twist and making it way more than a stuffy performance. It’s another chance for us to do something we haven’t done and for everyone to have an enjoyable time.”
While Macon Pops performances always include the fun factor, Moretti said it’s the genius of Macon Pops artistic director-conductor Matt Catingub that makes the evening’s entertainment shine.
“Everyone has heard these songs before but Matt is taking each one and giving it his own, unique arrangement so we’ll have our own twist to them all,” he said. “It’s a lot of work hearing all that music in your head then putting it down on paper for every song for 40 musicians, but it’s what he does and does so well again and again.”
Part of the Bond evening “fun” actually goes slightly contrary to Macon Pops’ overall causal, fun evening philosophy: Bond has always been a tuxedo kind of guy. Moretti said those coming are encouraged — if they want — to dress in their favorite Bond-themed attire.
He said the orchestra certainly will.
“Our music is very sophisticated and our musicians are very sophisticated in their skill, but we always stress a very relaxed atmosphere,” Moretti said. “Want to wear jeans? Wear jeans. A suit? It’s up to you. We want to break down barriers. But with Bond, if we’re making it sort of a costume party, then is it time to pull out the tux? Whatever strikes you or just what you’d normally wear is fine. But even at the Grand, we’re still wanting people to stand up, walk the aisles and maybe even do a little dancing in the pit area in front of the stage. It’s not big, but it might do.”
After all, 2018 is Bond’s 50th anniversary in film, so celebrate.
“Macon Pops: The Songs of Bond ... James Bond”
Where: The Grand Opera House, 651 Mulberry St.
When: 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16
Cost: $25-$35, students $15