From Adele to Queen at tri-county band concert

Jun 10, 2018

For much of the annual Tri-County Symphonic Band pops concert on Sunday, Samantha Johnson was doing something she’d only done once since graduating high school -- playing the flute in the ensemble.

But about half way through the performance, Johnson rose from her chair and strode to the microphone to do what once made her a semifinalist on NBC’s America’s Got Talent. In front of a crowd of roughly 200 people under a tent at Tabor Academy’s Fireman Performing Arts Center, Johnson gave a powerful rendition of Adele's “Hello,” drawing a standing ovation when she concluded.

Back in 2015, after Howard Stern called her audition performance of Aretha Franklin’s “A Natural Woman” “exceptional,” Johnson made it all the way to the semifinals of America’s Got Talent.

Seven months ago, Johnson gave birth to her first child, Myra.

“I’m just getting off of maternity leave,” Johnson said after the show. “So filling in for the band was sort of a way of getting back into music.

While she said playing in the ensemble was “a lot of fun,” Johnson doesn’t have plans to play the flute much going forward. The 29-year-old New Bedford native said she plans to hit the road again and tour as a singer.

“I’m going to throw a lot of things at the wall and see what sticks. Hopefully, I can get back on T.V. again, but I’m never going to stop singing and playing music. It’s what I love to do,” she said.

The theme of this year’s pops concert was “The British Invasion,” and performers gave renditions of songs by the Beatles, Elton John, Queen and other British artists.

In addition to Johnson and the Tri-County Symphonic Band, the Mattapoisett-based harmonic group, The Occasion Singers, also performed, singing Elton John’s “Your Song,” the Beatles’ “Long and Winding Road” and “Masquerade” from the Phantom of the Opera.

All proceeds from tickets and a raffle were donated to John R. Pandolfi Memorial Scholarship Fund.