Monterey County Pops! is an orchestra dedicated to presenting pops and patriotic music performed by professional musicians free-of-charge for thousands of families and visitors each year while identifying, engaging and educating under-served youth. Our award-winning programs are presented in English and Spanish. In 2014, we developed our Salinas Valley Music Initiative -- a series of intensive music education and performance opportunities for youth. Each year, our team, led by Dr. Carl Christensen, works with more than one thousand students in communities with the least access to professional music programs in Salinas, East Salinas, North Salinas, Gonzales, Soledad, Greenfield and King City. Our students benefit from our whole-child educational approach and develop new skills, confidence and resilience from learning with and performing with professional musicians. Our schools and community partners benefit from greater positive engagement with the youth and their families and raising awareness in the broader community.
The Big Idea
There is a soundtrack the public has come to expect at certain community events, and that soundtrack is provided thanks to Monterey County Pops!, an orchestra dedicated to presenting pops and patriotic concerts, free-of-charge. Under the direction of award-winning Dr. Carl Christensen, Monterey County Pops! also provides free classes and performance opportunities for hundreds of underserved youth throughout Monterey County every year. Young musicians get instruction and mentoring that culminates in a performance of their favorite selections with the professional orchestra for their families and communities. Monterey County Pops! will be conducting these concerts and classes online for as long as needed.
I want to thank you for continuing the series in our community of East Salinas. Your leadership brings your musicians close to the community they serve through their performance of music that
is representative of the community. Alisal Youth Mariachi students consistently share that it is exciting and motivating to perform alongside the orchestra. Students feel inspired when they complete a rehearsal with the orchestra, much less
perform. Finally, students feel validated, and experience validation of their cultural music.
- Ruben Pulido, director, Alisal Community Arts Network