For more than 6 decades, the community-driven Winnipeg Pops Orchestra has presented a variety of musical styles to audiences across Winnipeg and Manitoba, at venues such as the Lyric Theatre, ScotiaBank Stage, and this week a free performance at Lutheran Church of the Cross. 



“A lot of hard work has gone into this (program) and we’re really looking forward to getting out in front of people again,” says music director Owen Clark. 

After a sputtered return to practice in late 2021, the roughly 60-member orchestra made up of mainly amateur musicians was sidelined until recently. 

“Unfortunately, due to COVID and everything else, our membership is kind of fluid,” explains Clark, noting that is hasn’t deterred them from making music. “Those that have been away for any reason have been wonderful about practicing and staying on track and really communicating with us.”

In their first concert of 2022, “Welcome Back” promises to be a celebration of both classical and pops music, including: Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah,” Ippolitov-Ivanov’s “Procession of the Sardar,” and Morricone’s “Gabriel's Oboe” from the motion picture "The Mission.”

The program also features special guests Michele Wood — singing a medley of Roaring Twenties tunes — composers Anna Schwartz and Shirlely Elias, plus the Westwood Community Band. 

Presented free of charge at Lutheran Church of the Cross (560 Arlington Street), the concert begins at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 19. Patrons are asked to reserve their seats through the Winnipeg Pops Orchestra website