Friday, 12th November, 2004

News Menu Button Pops here Dec.17

Staff Writer

AUGUSTA -- A 17-year-old New Zealand singing sensation will be guest vocalist when the Boston Pops Esplanade Orchestra performs at the Augusta Civic Center on Dec. 17.

Hayley Westenra of Christchurch, New Zealand, performed earlier this year for Queen Elizabeth II, British Prime Minister Tony Blair and President George W. Bush at a private concert at the U.S. ambassador's residence in London.

Her album, "Pure," made her the fastest-selling classical artist of all time in the United Kingdom when it reached gold status in under a week, and she has recorded the end-title song of the Disney film "Mulan 2."

She is to make a guest appearance on the NBC television series "American Dreams," and her national PBS special will air later this year.

So far, some 3,300 tickets have been sold for the Boston Pops' Augusta performance, said Dana Colwill, director of the Augusta Civic Center.

For the last appearance of the Pops in the city in 1997, some 5,500 tickets were sold.

"It was almost a sell-out," Colwill said.

The civic center is limited to about 5,800 seats for the performance because of the size of the stage.

"The more expensive ones go first," said Colwill. "We're doing well there. They're slimmer pickings now."

Colwill recommends ticket holders arrive early to find parking despite the fact that all seats are reserved.

"We encourage people to get here early. It's a very late-arriving crowd," he said. "People in Maine aren't used to big volumes.

Doors open at 7 p.m. for the 8 p.m. performance.

The Boston Pops appearance is being sponsored by Kennebec Savings Bank, which also sponsored the 1997 performance.

"The first time we did it was for Augusta's bicentennial," said Mark Johnston, bank president. "To this date, people are still talking about that concert and how great the acoustics were. Even the conductor said how great a place it was to do a concert."

Johnston said the bank was happy to help again this time. "It's a way to give back to the community," he said.

The Augusta Civic Center also will host a holiday performance Dec. 6 of the Moscow Ballet's Great Russian Nutcracker.

Betty Adams -- 621-5631 --


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Article located by Keith S.
Copyright © 2004 Blethen Maine Newspapers Inc.


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