It's called the Sarasota Pops Orchestra, but its music director and most of its musicians are from Manatee County.
And every year, the orchestra performs one of its four major concerts in Bradenton.
That concert's coming up this weekend. At 3 p.m. Sunday, the Sarasota Pops Orchestra will perform a concert titled "Take 5 Around the World" at the Neel Performing Arts Center at State College of Florida.
It's the final concert of the season for the Sarasota Pops, which is hoping to enhance its presence in Bradenton in the coming years. Besides its annual concert at the Neel, the Sarasota Pops Orchestra in the past two years has also played at events on the Bradenton Riverwalk.
In fact, in a recent email to the Manatee Chamber of Commerce, Robyn Bell, the orchestra's music director, indicated that she hoped the orchestra would "morph into the Bradenton Symphony Orchestra" over the summer.
A name change would be up to the orchestra's board of directors and its musicians, though, and it hasn't been discussed formally, Bell said. She's hoping to get an especially strong turnout for this weekend's concert, and to garner support from local
organizations, demonstrating that Manatee County would get behind the idea of having its own orchestra.
"I, myself, am a Bradenton resident and would be honored to provide our community with a symphony orchestra they could one day call their own," Bell said. "I believe the kind of music and show we present at our concerts is indicative of Manatee County and the city of Bradenton: unique, unstuffy, down-to-earth, special, beautiful, enjoyable, entertaining and inexpensive."
Sunday's concert is divided between jazz and classical selections. All the titles have numerical references, in keeping with the season's theme of "And for Our Next Number."
Among the jazz numbers are "Route 66," "Pennsylvania 6-5000" and "Take 5." The second half of the concert features Saint-Saens' Symphony No. 3, using the Neel's pipe organ.
Tickets are $20 general admission, and $5 for students with a valid ID. Premium tickets are available for $25. Call 941-926-7677 or go to sarasotapops.org.
A limited number of free tickets will be available starting Tuesday at the Bradenton Herald office, at 1111 Third Ave. W., Bradenton. They'll be available at the front desk, starting at 8 a.m. until they're gone. There's a limit of two tickets per person.
The Neel Performing Arts Center is at 5840 26th St. W., Bradenton.
Marty Clear, features writer/columnist, can be reached at 941-708-7919. Follow twitter.com/martinclear.