Charlotte Symphony’s annual outdoors show comes back for another year
by Mike Parks
When Albert-George Schram and the Charlotte Symphony take the stage Sunday, June 10, to reignite the annual Summer Pops series, they’ll bring with them a performance families just can’t get anywhere else in south Charlotte.
This is the 11th year the Summer Pops concert series has taken place at SouthPark’s Symphony Park, where families again will gather to see five shows throughout summer – including the special Independence Day concert and fireworks show, held this year July 3.
“We look forward to it every year because there are certain people who come to the Summer Pops concerts – Summer Pops Super Fans – these die hard fans who love coming out there enjoying the weather and the music,” said Alexandra Zsoldos, director of individual and community engagement for Charlotte Symphony.
Zsoldos expects those super fans to be back out at Symphony Park starting Sunday when the concert series kicks off with Symphony Park Serenade. The concert starts with Richard Wagner’s prelude to “Die Meistersinger” and includes eight other pieces before wrapping up with a tribute to Irving Berlin and “God Bless America.”
“I’m really excited about some of the programs this year because they’re themed and going to be good for everyone,” Zsoldos said. Her most anticipated show? The June 17 Symphonic Passion show, conducted by Jacomo Rafael Bairos. Zsoldos said the conductor has picked out a few special pieces, including selections from “Star Wars” and “Raiders of the Lost Ark” to really make the show a blast no matter your past experiences with a symphony.
Albert-George Schram returns on June 23 for Vive La France, with the next show July 1 focusing on the American composers Gershwin, Bernstein and Rodgers. It all leads up to the best-attended show of the summer – the July 3 Celebrate America! concert complete with “Hail to the Spirit of Liberty,” “Liberty Bell March” and “Stars and Stripes Forever.”
“This is a great way for people who maybe haven’t come to a concert before to come and enjoy the music and even realize they maybe know some of the music … from movies and television,” Zsoldos said. While the atmosphere is maybe a little more laid back than the Symphony’s shows Uptown, it’s also a place that’s become a good gathering spot, she said. “It’s a relaxed atmopshere, bring your friends and family … and bring some food and drink and just enjoy being outside.”
Every show is on a Sunday except for Celebrate America! Gates open at 5 p.m. with the prelude act at 7 p.m. and Symphony starting at 8:15 p.m. People can buy a pass for all five concerts for $35, or pay $10 per show. Children younger than 18 get in free.
Find more information on the concerts and get tickets at the Charlotte Symphony’s website, www.charlottesymphony.org.