Rowley’s 15th annual POPs! Goes Issaquah free concert is Aug. 27

August 24, 2010

By Sepideh Behzadpour

If music brings people together, then free music must draw crowds. For the past 15 years, the Issaquah property management and development firm Rowley Properties has sponsored POPs! Goes Issaquah.

This year’s concert features the Sammamish Symphony Orchestra and conductor Joseph Scott. Trumpet player Natalie Dungey, 11, and young tenor singer Gregory Carroll are expected to perform.

Scott has participated in the free concert for the past 14 years. He said Skip Rowley contacted him to do a free concert for the community. What was supposed to be a one-time event has turned into an annual tradition.

“It’s a great opportunity to give the community a free concert — a night of free entertainment and good music,” Scott said.

Scott said the music is light classics most people will recognize. This year’s theme is “American West” and will include cowboy and hoedown music.

Carroll, who will perform two opera arias, will also do a duet with Maria Mannisto, last year’s guest performer. Along with singing, she was one of the coordinators for this year’s event.

“The Rowleys feel very honored and fortunate to have the means to continue to sponsor this concert each year, despite the recession we’re in,” Mannisto said.

Rowley Properties keeps sponsoring the event because Rowley, chairman of the board, and his daughter Kari Magill, CEO, want to give back to the community, Mannisto said.

She further said that they want to make the concert experience available to those who can’t afford it.

“The arts are especially important during the recession, because it acts as a binding force that keeps the community connected, vibrant and inspired,” Mannisto said.

Jane Cottringer, program director at Bellewood Retirement Living, an independent-living senior facility on the Sammamish Plateau, said the residents have been attending the concerts for about five years.

“The residents always enjoy them,” Cottringer said. “It’s a great community effort and we appreciate Rowley doing it.”

A lot of the residents are big fans of the Sammamish Symphony and they love the performances, she said.

“They always look forward to the concerts,” Cottringer said.

The free concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Aug. 27 at Village Theatre. There are about 25 tickets left. They are available on a first-come, first-served basis and need to be picked up at Rowley Properties, 1595 N.W. Gilman Blvd., Suite 1.

Sepideh Behzadpour is a student in the University of Washington Department of Communication News Laboratory. Comment at

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