Being a musician in Macon, Georgia is being able to be whoever it is that you want to be. We don’t have to follow the rules of major cities because we aren’t them. The upside to being a smaller city is to be free of the pressures of chasing a “sound” that defines the entire scene. For the fans of music here, every now and then we get to experience something that you can’t experience anywhere else. Back in 2013, drummer/percussionist Steve Moretti and composer/arranger Matt Catingub started to realize these things about Macon. They decided to do something about it, and they created Macon Pops.
Steve and Matt are both Grammy nominated (Matt has won a Grammy) in their crafts and have traveled around the world to play with different symphonies throughout their careers. The main thing they agreed on is that symphonies don’t have to be for one type of music lover. They wanted Macon Pops to present world class music with the energy of a rock concert and the finesse of an orchestra. Whereas traditional orchestras may have upwards of 75 musicians, Macon Pops works with 40 hand-picked musicians from all over the world. Matt writes and arranges all the music and Steve plays drums and co-hosts the show. There is only one rehearsal of the full show and it takes place at sound check the day of the concert. Traditional orchestras tend to stick to classical music to avoid frightening a particular audience. Macon Pops’ musical selection spans from classical, R&B, gospel, rock, and most recently, hip-hop, to cater to a wider range of concert-goers.
The strongest feature of Macon Pops is in its willingness to include local artists into their shows. Placing locals on stage with top notch musicians in front of 1,000 people that they may not have been able to reach on their own is exactly the sort of collaboration that separates Macon’s music scene from larger cities. We’re too small to have creative barriers and it works out in our favor. With previous concerts being held at the Macon City Auditorium and the new season of concerts being moved to Middle Georgia State University’s Wellness Center Lawn and Mercer’s Hawkins Arena, Macon Pops continues to grow on their own terms.
The valor that it takes to distance yourself from your industry’s box and make them follow your lead is something that should be celebrated. Macon Pops is well on its way to shifting the paradigm in the orchestral world and it started right here in Macon.
8/26/2016 – 7:30 p.m.: “Songs of the Summer”Wellness Center Lawn (Outdoors) at Middle Georgia State University
10/28/2016 – 7:30 p.m.: “Dancing Through The Decades 3” at Hawkins Arena
2/24/2017 – 7:30 p.m.: “The Music Of Ray Charles” at The Cox Capitol Theatre
3/17/2017 – 7:30 p.m.: “Hit Songs From TV & Movies” at Hawkins Arena
5/19/2017 – 7:30 p.m.: “Jazz That Rocks” at Hawkins ArenaTickets