~ by Abigail Terres ~
Shortly after dawn this Friday, August 7, the transformation begins. In just 36 hours, the decks at Jetties Beach will become a sophisticated stage for a world-class orchestra and the broad, sandy beach seating for the thousands who come to watch and listen.
Saturday, August 8, The Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra returns to Nantucket for the 19th year to perform Boston Pops on Nantucket, an evening of music, dancing, and fireworks to benefit Nantucket Cottage Hospital.
Known as “America’s Orchestra,” The Boston Pops are the most recorded orchestra in the country. The combination of these superb musicians and the the spectacular venue create an unforgettable island experience.
In 1997, Kathryn Clauss, a passionate supporter of the Nantucket Cottage Hospital came up with the idea to bring the renowned Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart to Nantucket as a benefit concert for the hospital. At the time, the idea seemed so large and unreachable that no one believed she could pull it off. Low and behold, with time, effort, a lot of hard work and help from friends, she did it.
Today, the Boston Pops on Nantucket event is Nantucket Cottage Hospital’s biggest fundraiser. “Every year we say to ourselves: ‘Wow, this was the best one yet.’ And every year, it’s true,” says Jason Graziadei, Nantucket Cottage Hospital Public Information Officer.
This year, Michael S. Lorber will chair the event and newsman and summer resident David Gregory will once again host it. Lorber has long ties to the island and is a founding member of the Friends of Nantucket Cottage Hospital group. “As a summer resident of the island, I am honored to serve as this year’s chair for the biggest and best event of the summer,” Lorber said. As host, Gregory will welcome more than five thousand people to Jetties Beach to hear the orchestra conducted by Keith Lockhart. “I’m thrilled to be part of this unique Nantucket evening,” Gregory said. “Great mission and great entertainment. It’s not to be missed.”
This year’s concert will throw it back to the 1970s as Lockhart and the Pops welcome special musical guest The Australian Bee Gees Show, a multimedia theatrical concert experience that takes a nostalgic trip through the legacy the Bee Gees left behind while celebrating over four decades of the infectious music written by the Gibb brothers. Together for more than 19 years, The Australian Bee Gees Show has mastered the look, sound, and personality of the adored trio, while cementing their reputation as the world’s leading Bee Gees show.
Back by popular demand this year will be the two LED jumbotrons on either side of the Pops stage to show attendees close-up images of the orchestra and to ensure that everyone on the beach has a clear view. Concert buzz on social media will use the hashtag #PopsOnAck
As the event approaches, there are still general admission tickets available ($30, children $10). The Pops shop at the hospital at 57 Prospect Street is open Thursday and Friday, August 6 and 7 from 9 am to 4 pm to sell tickets and merchandise. Tickets are also available downtown at Murray’s Toggery Shop on Main Street, at Aunt Leah’s Fudge on Straight Wharf, and at Visitor Services on Federal Street. Tickets can also be purchased at nantuckethospital.org/Pops but need to be picked up in person at the Pops shop.
The Boston Pops on Nantucket concert is the largest single fundraiser for Nantucket Cottage Hospital and all funds generated during the event stay on the island to sustain the hospital’s year-round commitment to the health and wellbeing of the Nantucket community.
As of Thursday afternoon, August 6, 2015, all tickets have completely sold out.