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Carl Topilow to lead pops orchestra tonight at BootJack

If you have not yet taken advantage of the opportunity to experience high quality music in one of the most gorgeous outdoor concert spaces on the planet, now is the time. At BootJack Ranch audiences find a true communion of music and nature, an intimacy of sound and sight that cannot be matched in any man-made venue. Indeed, Music in the Mountains offers an experience like none other.

Tonight, Thursday, July 23, at BootJack Ranch, Music in the Mountains marks the return of Cleveland Pops founder Carl Topilow and the festival Pops Orchestra. Back by popular demand, this crowd-pleasing conductor will take the stage at 6:30 p.m., leading the orchestra in the big band era music of Irving Berlin, Glenn Miller and Tommy Dorsey.

Topilow is known worldwide for his versatility, whether he is holding a conductor’s baton or his trademark red clarinet. He is equally at home in classical and popular music both as a conductor and instrumentalist.

A fine clarinetist, Topilow fell in love with conducting early. He is the co-founder of the Cleveland Pops and has served as conductor and teacher at the Cleveland Institute of Music for more than 25 years.

Topilow, educated at the Manhattan School of Music, began his career as the Exxon Arts Endowment Conductor of the Denver Symphony Orchestra. As a conductor and teacher, he has passed on his extensive knowledge to countless aspiring professional musicians.

He recently celebrated his 30th anniversary as music director and conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra, a summer music festival based in Breckenridge, Colorado. During his tenure there, he has assisted in training talented young musicians and conductors for positions in symphonic orchestras in the U.S. and abroad.

“I’m honest with them about the challenges of the industry,” he said, “but I don’t want to be pessimistic. I want to create a great atmosphere for making music.” The message is simple, he explained: “I tell them, ‘Unless you’re passionate about music, don’t do it.’ That’s the way it was with me ... Music is all I ever wanted to do.”

Topilow brings his passion for music to the BootJack stage tonight at 6:30 p.m. with the lively, toe-tapping sounds of one of the greatest musical eras in American history. Bring your friends and family and take a walk down memory lane with Carl Topilow and the festival Pops Orchestra.

BootJack Ranch

Thanks to the generosity of David and Carol Brown, Music in the Mountains concerts are offered in the spectacular venue of BootJack Ranch. BootJack Ranch is located 11.5 miles east of the junction of U.S. 84 and 160.

To purchase tickets

Tickets for the Pops Orchestra concert are $60. Tickets for this and all remaining festival concerts are available at the Chamber of Commerce office located at 402 San Juan St. They are also available online at All concerts begin at 6:30 p.m.

A 10-percent discount is available for groups of 25 or more. In addition, there is a 10-percent discount for four or more chamber and orchestra concerts purchased at the same time. Discounted tickets are available at the Chamber of Commerce office.