Tehachapi's Online Community News & Entertainment Guide

Tehachapi POPS Orchestra springs back to action April 7

Tehachapi POPS Orchestra (TPOPS)

The Tehachapi POPS Orchestra (TPOPS) had been entertaining the community for 15 years before having to go dark during the COVID-19 lockdown in 2020.

Now that the virus is apparently waning, the TPOPS orchestra is starting up again. The group will meet on Thursdays, starting April 7, from 6:30-8:30 p.m., in St. Jude's Anglican church, 1200 S Curry. Anyone who plays an orchestral instrument is welcome to come and join. No auditions are necessary. Just bring your instrument and a music stand.

Before COVID hit, the popular group performed each year in Central Park as part of the City's Fourth of July festival. In partnership with TCT, they also gave the BooKay Halloween concert for several years. TPOPS provided the soundtrack for Tehachapi's Centennial celebration in 2009, and has played for numerous community events over the years. A highlight of the Christmas season each year was the TPOPS concert in Bear Valley for the Cultural Arts Association.

TPOPS was established as a "teaching" ensemble where teachers could play with their students in an orchestra setting, filling a need that was not offered in the schools here. Community musicians are also invited to bring their instruments out from the back of the closet and join in. By playing in TPOPS, many members grew their skills to the point where they could join the Tehachapi Symphony, their college orchestras and other more advanced ensembles.

The music played is about a high school level, and includes a range of styles including rock, jazz, show tunes and some light classical pieces. The greatest challenge in the music to some players is often the tricky rhythms. Some of the more advanced musicians also enjoy being able to play instruments other than their main ones. The orchestra aims to provide a fun, non-stressful environment where musicians of all ages and levels can enjoy playing music together.

TPOPS is also coming out of the COVID period with an off-shoot, now called the Southern Sierra POPS. This new group debuted in Bear Valley for a Christmas concert. These members, mostly winds and brass, felt ready to play more challenging music than the regular TPOPS orchestra repertoire, and wanted to gear it more toward band instrumentation. To audition, email: [email protected].

To join the Tehachapi Pops Orchestra, or for more information, please email: [email protected].

It's finally time to let the music ring out again!