The Kenosha Pops Concert Band was established in 1922 as the American Legion Band, sponsored by Paul Herrick Post 21. The first musical director was Helmuth Schaefer who was succeeded by Peter Niccolai, Sr. In 1924, George E. Manupella assumed the directorship, continuing until 1961. During Manupella’s tenure the name of the band changed to the “Kenosha Concert Band.” In 1961, Frank Niccolai was elected director. In 1967, Lt. Col. Mark Azzolina (USAF Ret.) succeeded him. The name of the band was again changed, this time to the “Kenosha Pops Concert Band” to reflect the programming of more “pops” style music. John Bunic followed as director in 1970 and led the band through 1993. Frank Germinaro assumed conducting duties the following year and was officially elected to the director’s position in 1995, conducting the band through the 2002 season. Craig Gall was appointed the band’s eighth Musical Director in the fall of 2002 after serving seven years as the band’s assistant conductor. The Band has grown over the years from 35 members to approximately 60 full time performing musicians, numerous substitute players, support staff, and community volunteers. The players are a mix of professional musicians, college students, private music teachers, school band directors, and amateur musicians from all walks of life. Previously, the concerts were staged from a portable band stand located in Navy Park. The Sesquicentennial Band Shell, located in Pennoyer Park overlooking beautiful Lake Michigan, was dedicated on July 4, 1988 and is the current site for the Pops summer season of concerts. The band also participates in the annual Kenosha Civic Veterans Parade. Finally, the Pops started a new tradition in 2002 with an annual Christmas concert each December. The Pops offers a wide variety of entertainment ranging from TV and movie themes, Broadway show tunes, Big Band favorites, marches, standards, Dixieland, jazz, rock and roll, Latin rhythms, polkas, waltzes, children’s tunes, light classical selections, and novelty numbers. Guest performers are featured on many concerts. Master of ceremonies, Greg Berg, offers a vocal selection on each concert. These enjoyable outdoor concerts are made possible by the City of Kenosha as well as our many patrons, local businesses, and friends.
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Craig Gall joined the “Pops” in 1992, was appointed Assistant Conductor in 1996, and became the eighth Musical Director of the Kenosha Pops Concert Band in the fall of 2002. A native of Port Washington, Wisconsin, he graduated magna cum laude from the Lawrence University Conservatory of Music in Appleton in 1990 and spent six years as the director of bands at Washington Junior High School in Kenosha. He also directed the Continental and Rambler Summer Recreation Bands as well as the orchestras for several KUSD musical productions. He currently resides in Appleton and is Band Director at Kimberly High School where he directs the Wind Ensemble, Symphonic Band, Jazz Band, and “Wespenmusikanten,” the school’s Ethnic Music Ensemble. Mr. Gall performs regularly with the “Dorf Kapelle” and is a member of the “Big Band Reunion” of Appleton and the “Green Bay Packer Band.” He was recently inducted into the Wisconsin Bandmasters Association.GARRETT KORNMAN Assistant Conductor
Garrett Kornman, a lifelong resident of Kenosha, joined the “Pops” as principal saxophonist in 1998, and was named assistant conductor in the fall of 2002. A graduate of the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, Mr. Kornman holds undergraduate degrees in music education, finance, and economics. He has served as an instrumental music teacher in the Kenosha Unified School District, during which time he held directing positions with the Continental and Rambler Recreation Bands and the Band of the Black Watch. In addition to his duties with the “Pops,” he maintains an active performance schedule throughout the southeast portion of Wisconsin.GREG BERG Master of Ceremonies
Greg Berg is the fine arts director for our local public radio station, WGTD - FM 91.1. Greg hosts an interview program called “The Morning Show” every weekday morning between 8:00 and 9:00 a.m. He serves as minister of music for Holy Communion Lutheran Church in Racine, and is an assistant professor of music at Carthage College where he teaches voice. Greg has been directing musicals at the Racine Theatre Guild since 2003.Greg will be a featured vocalist with the “Pops” Band this summer.
Check back in May for the 2018 Musicians!
Keep checking back for the list of our 95th season Board Members, Staff, and Patrons!
Christmas with the Pops! You don't want to miss it!
- 3601 7th Avenue, Kenosha, Wisconsin
- (262) 598-9345