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By JOHN FRIEDLEIN
ELIZABETHTOWN — It will be a concert fit for Wookiees.
Actually, there’s a chance Keith Johnson, CEO of First Federal Savings Bank, will be dressed as a “Star Wars” character Friday when he introduces the Louisville Orchestra for the 19th annual Pops in the Park concert at Freeman Lake Park.
He won’t yet divulge what costume he’ll don, other than that it will be related to this year’s theme — music of John Williams, who has scored blockbusters including “Star Wars,” the Indiana Jones films and “Superman.”
The program is a change from recent concerts, which have featured more traditional selections.
“We thought it would be fun to do something that a lot more people could identify with,” said Johnson, whose bank coordinates the event. “Everybody loves to go to the movies.”
Concert attendance, which has been as high as 3,000, was down last year, Johnson said. This could have been the result of competing community events, he said, but there aren’t any this year.
For the first time, the local Music & Arts Center of Cultural Learning Youth Orchestra will play at Pops in the Park.
The 30-member ensemble will play music from “Star Wars” and Disney, as well as from standard classical pieces like Gustav Holst’s “The Planets.” And string director Valerie Ruegar will conduct a few songs with just strings.
The ages of Youth Orchestra members range from 12 to 19.
They’re “really excited” about opening for the Louisville Orchestra said Victor Collins, conductor and director of the Music & Arts Center. “That’s a really big deal.”
He said the concert will give his program exposure. Plus, the youth hope to meet Louisville Orchestra members backstage.
“The kids are excited about listening to them play as well,” he said.
The young musicians will perform from 6:50 until 7:30 p.m.
The Louisville Orchestra is scheduled to begin at 8:30 p.m. Gates open at 6.
Fireworks by Zambelli Internationale will follow the show.
Ticket proceeds will go to the United Way of Central Kentucky and the Elizabethtown Lions Club will sell food and beverages.
As for Johnson, he has dressed as Beethoven in the past, and last year — for the Italian theme — he somehow managed to be the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
“I always wear something zany,” Johnson said.
John Friedlein can be reached at (270) 505-1746.
Tickets, which are available at all First Federal Savings Bank locations, are $8 for adults. Children 12 and younger are admitted free. A table for eight near the bandstand is available for $240 and can be reserved by calling 765-4334.