Pasadena Pops Dedicates Program to American Icons

Pops CEO Lora Unger and conductor Michael Feinstein with Jeannette and Warren Martin.

First published in the Aug. 25 print issue of the Pasadena Outlook.

Photos by Erin Rodick
The Outlook


Principal Pops Conductor Michael Feinstein and the Pasadena Pops orchestra recently continued their outdoor concert series with “American Icons: Judy Garland & Friends” at the Los Angeles County Arboretum.
The program celebrated the centennials of iconic singers Judy Garland, Doris Day and Peggy Lee, and gave a nod to Liza Minnelli and Garland’s legacy.
Audiences heard Feinstein’s firsthand accounts and intimate stories as Melissa Manchester, Nicole Henry and Maddie Baillio sang timeless songs such as “Big Spender,” “Cabaret,” “Come Rain or Come Shine,” “Lady Be Good,” “Lover,” “The Trolley Song” and the original film arrangement for “Over the Rainbow.”
“Even though I never met Judy Garland, I know her family very well and they have made available her entire library of her arrangements,” Feinstein said. “Some of these have never been played publicly before, or were only heard once on her TV show.”
To musically celebrate the legacies of these women, Feinstein welcomed three soloists to the stage including icon Manchester, who is a Grammy Award winner and a singer/songwriter. Her hits include, “Don’t Cry Out Loud,” “You Should Hear How She Talks About You,” “Midnight Blue” and “Just Too Many People.”
Manchester sang selections from her album “Legends,” where she pays tribute to Garland, Lee and Day, as well as songs from her own collection like “Come in from the Rain.” Manchester shared the stage with two generations of icons-in-the-making — Henry, an award-winning Jazz performer, and Baillio, a Songbook Youth Ambassador and “Hairspray Live” performer.