As one of the few orchestras in the country to give fully produced traditional concerts during the Covid-19 shutdown in 2020, the Fort Smith Symphony has of course put its own non-traditional touch to this schedule. The first post-pandemic concert, held on October 17, 2020, was outdoors at the United States Marshals Museum – and it was so popular that the symphony is back on the lawn this weekend for “Patriotic Pops” .
“Our audience survey and numerous comments told us that our audiences love hearing us outdoors and appreciating the grounds of the US Marshals Museum on the Arkansas River as a venue,” said Music Director John Jeter. “So we decided to do it again but with an American and patriotic theme.”
The performance includes marches by John Phillip Sousa; “God Bless America” by Irving Berlin; WC Handy’s “St. Louis Blues”; William Grant Still’s Symphony No. 1; and “Apollo 13” by James Horner, plus music by John Williams, Elmer Bernstein and Alan Silvestri.
“It’s a great concert for families, I guess you could say a lighter fare to go with the feeling of being outside,” Jeter adds. “Participants are encouraged to bring blankets, lawn chairs, picnics and drinks.”
Jeter says that while the orchestra continued to perform for most of the covid crisis, the joy still hasn’t faded from being able to do so.
“We have had a wonderful start to the 2021-22 season with our musicians and our audience enjoying live music together,” he says. And while there is no post-concert lineup for “Patriotic Pops,” fans also enjoyed mingling with the orchestra members in a new addition to the performances at ArcBest Performing Arts Center. The next Bakery District after-party will follow “It’s Christmas” on December 4th.
Jeter is also preparing for a return to programming for students in 2022.
“We are excited to announce that our school programs, Symphony in the Schools and Kool Cats Jazz Quartet, are scheduled to take place in the spring, as well as our full Earquake orchestral concerts for students,” he said. “Things are going really well overall, and I know the school systems are very happy to see us coming back and interacting with their students live and in person!”
The remainder of the 2021-22 season includes:
December 4 – It’s Christmas: “Carol of the Bells”, https: //www.nwaonline.com/news/2021/oct/15/music-al-fresco-fort-smith-symphony-plays/ “Sleigh Ride , “https://www.nwaonline.com/news/2021/oct/15/music-al-fresco-fort-smith-symphony-plays/” The Nutcracker, “https://www.nwaonline.com/ news / 2021 / oct / 15 / music-al-fresco-fort-smith-symphony-plays / “Do you hear what I hear”, 7 p.m., ArcBest Performing Arts Center.
March 5 – Classical Masters: With Symphony No. 1 in D minor by Saint-Georges; Eric Ewasen’s Concerto for Marimba; and Brahms Symphony No. 2, 7:00 p.m., ArcBest Performing Arts Center.
April 2 – “Raiders of the Lost Ark”: With the symphony playing the soundtrack during the film screening, 7pm, ArcBest Performing Arts Center.
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Fort Smith Symphony:
WHEN – 5 p.m. Saturday
O – Open air at the US Marshals Museum in Fort Smith
COT – $ 45
INFO – 452-7575 or fortsmithsymphony.org