Home > David Amos, Music > TICO Pops Concert July 25 to feature ‘Kosher Mantovani’

TICO Pops Concert July 25 to feature ‘Kosher Mantovani’

 By David Amos

David Amos

SAN DIEGO–The stories, anecdotes, and musical experience that comes out of Sheldon Cohen, “Mr. L.A. Pops”, would make for a most entertaining and informative book.

Maestro Cohen will guest conduct the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra in its annual Pops Concert, which will feature his own arrangements of memorable popular and Broadway music. This concert will take place at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, July 25, at Tifereth Israel Congregation’s Cohen Social Hall. 

Shelly Cohen may be more familiar to you than you may realize. For thirty years, he was the assistant director of the Tonight Show Band, starring Johnny Carson, which featured Doc Severinsen. His many adaptations and arrangements were heard on the late night NBC show for decades, and if you ever watched the program, you surely heard in the background his fine work. Carson used to call him “The Kosher Mantovani”, and get laughs with this line every time.

Shelly Cohen was educated at Brooklyn College, the Juilliard School of Music, and the Hartnett School of Music. He became Assistant Music Director of the Tonight Show in 1962, and remained so until Johnny’s retirement in 1992.

His other television accomplishments include being the Music Coordinator of the Emmy Awards and the Today Show’s “Reflections on Irving Berlin and Richard Rodgers”. He also wrote two Christmas specials for NBC, “Christmas with Friends”, and “Noel”. He has also appeared as a guest conductor of the Pops orchestras of Los Angeles, Virginia, Pasadena, and the Brentwood Symphony. In 1992 he formed the New Horizon Singers, and together, they have performed in many venues in the Los Angeles area.

He is also the founder of the Pacific Pops Orchestra, a group of professional musicians who in addition to concerts, are involved in many of Shelly’s recording projects.

This week, the rehearsals for the TICO pops concert have been a treat to its musicians, thanks to Shelly’s colorful show business anecdotes, amiable style, and recollections of humorous incidents in his relationship with the Tonight Show.

Recently, Shelly has become the Musical Director for the San Fernando Valley Male Chorus and has formed his own swing band, The Swing Tones. In addition, he has produced and recorded numerous albums for many major recording companies. Two of these were nominated for Grammy awards.

For his concert with the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra on July 25, Shelly will bring the voices of the Horizon Singers, and various vocal soloists. The New Horizon Singers have been pleasing audiences, both young and old, continuously for over 18 years. Their repertory runs the gamut from Classical to pops contemporary, oldies, and sacred music.

Selections to be performed will include Bernstein on Broadway, Ritual Fire Dance, They Call the Wind Maria, Saturday Night at the Movies, Time to Say Goodbye, Holiday for Strings, Theme from The Magnificent Seven, a Henry Mancini Medley, a Disney Medley, music by Rodgers and Hart, Jule Styne on Broadway, and many other delightful surprises.

TICO has also announced the dates and programs for it 2010-2011 season. Save the dates for concerts on November 16, 2010, and in 2011, February 1, March 29, June 14, and July 24. These concerts will include music by Stravinsky, Von Suppé, Saint-Saens, Janacek, Ravel, Samuel Barber, Debussy, Nielsen, and Gustav Holst.

For information and/or reservations for the July 25 Pops Concert, or for receiving next season’s brochure, buying a season ticket package, or becoming a patron, call Tifereth Israel at (619) 697 6001, or check the TICO website .

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Amos is conductor of the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra and has guest conducted professional orchestras around the world.

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