ASO announces Summer Parks Concert Series for 2019

Spend a summer evening with the Akron Symphony Orchestra and the City of Akron at a free concert during our annual Summer Parks Concert Series.

The concerts will feature lively audience favorites, including music from Beethoven, Dvořák and John Williams; famous orchestral dances with music from Riverdance, Brahms’ Hungarian Dance No. 5, and the irresistible Can-can from Offenbach’s Orpheus in the Underworld; and traditional spirituals with tenor Brandon Bell.

Concertgoers will also be treated to the world premiere of an orchestral version of Sousa’s Nobles of the Mystic Shrine arranged by David Kempers, who adapted the piece from Sousa’s original work for band. The march features a Turkish crescent, a highly ornamented collection of bells and jingles assembled on a pole, and the Orchestra will share the stage with some special guests, according to Music Director Christopher Wilkins.

“The Turkish crescent — also known as a Jingling Johnny — is a regular feature of parade units of the Shriners,” Wilkins explained. “Sousa himself was a Shriner, and our performance will include members of the Tadmor Shrine and employ the same Turkish crescent that famed conductor Frederick Fennel used in his recording of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine March.”

The Summer Parks Concert Series takes place at 7:30 p.m. on the following dates:

“These Akron Symphony programs are part of a long American tradition of popular orchestral concerts performed outdoors in the summertime for families,” Wilkins said. “John Philip Sousa and Arthur Fiedler helped establish the tradition, the City of Akron and the Akron Symphony are keeping it strong here in Akron. It’s all about having fun. Invite neighbors and friends who’ve never been to a Symphony concert before. And be sure to stop by the Maestro Zone in front of the stage where children of all ages can come try out their hand at conducting.”

In addition to an evening of music, the Akron Symphony is partnering with United Way of Summit Country on its Stuff the Bus school supply drive to benefit Akron Public Schools. At each concert we will be collecting school supplies to help students in grades K-6 start off the school year ready to learn. (Click here for more information.)

There will also be a food truck featured at each concert – Swensons on July 28, Street Rolls on August 4 and Barrio on August 11 – for attendees to purchase food and drinks throughout the evening while enjoying the performance.

“These free concerts are part of what makes the City of Akron a special place,” said Director of Marketing Thomas Moore. “Being able to give something back through the school supply drive, and enhancing the evening with a food truck, is our way of saying thank you to the city for its continued support of the arts.”

Every summer, thousands spend their Sunday evenings under the stars with the Akron Symphony Orchestra performing on the outdoor stage built for the Heinz Poll Summer Dance Festival. We look forward to seeing you this summer at one of the free concerts, which are supported by the City of Akron.

Concert Series Partners

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