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Press Release


Jean Oelrich
Director of Marketing & Communications
(714) 876-2380

It's Time! Pacific Symphony Fills Summer Evenings with Free, Joyous Music in the Great Outdoors When It Travels to Irvine, Mission Viejo and Newport Beach for "Symphony in the Cities"

Orange County, Calif. — July 06, 2017

Pacific Symphony's Symphony in the Cities

Kick back, relax, crack open a picnic basket and enjoy a warm summer evening with family and friends, as Pacific Symphony sends a swirl of glorious symphonic music into the air for “Symphony in the Cities” (SITC)! Each summer, the Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, takes the opportunity to express its gratitude to all of its neighbors by travelling throughout Orange County to deliver a little fun and inspirational music to old friends and new. This summer, the orchestra makes appearances in the cities of Irvine, Mission Viejo and Newport Beach, where the Symphony, along with talented young guest artists, Danielle and Sarah Liu, dancers from the Yaya Dance Academy, and the Southern California Children’s Chorus, deliver an evening chock full of light classical, pops and patriotic music for an eclectic, energy-infused evening of everyone’s favorite tunes!  

From masterpieces by Brahms, Bach and Strauss and lively music by Leonard Bernstein and John Williams to rousing tunes by John Phillip Sousa, plus activities for children and families — it’s a perfect way to end a summer day in the great outdoors. Families are encouraged to bring picnics, blankets and chairs and arrive early for the Symphony’s Musical Playground and city festivities, prior to settling back for a little music under the magnificent OC sky. These concerts are free, no ticket required! For more information, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

“Can there be a more enjoyable time than summer in Orange County?” says Maestro St.Clair. “Add a little symphonic music and you have perfection! One of my greatest passions is sharing my love of music with others, so every summer I am excited to bring Pacific Symphony out into the community, where we can touch the hearts of more people than ever. We’re always so grateful to our wonderful host cities — this year, Irvine, Mission Viejo and Newport Beach —and all of the individuals who work so hard to make these concerts not only possible, but such a delightful experience for everyone.”  

This summer’s “Symphony in the Cities” concerts begin at 7 p.m., and take place on Sunday, July 16, in Newport Beach at the Civic Center (100 Civic Center Drive); on Saturday, July 22, in Mission Viejo at “The Village Green,” Oso Viejo Community Park (24932 Veterans Way); and on Sunday, July 23, in Irvine at Mike Ward Community Park Woodbridge (20 Lake Road).   

In addition to hearing the orchestra play, come early to enjoy pre-concert entertainment by Triada (in Newport and Irvine) and attend the Symphony’s Musical Playground featuring hands-on activities for kids, including instrument-making, a drum circle, an instrument petting zoo and a chance to meet musicians — beginning at 5:30 p.m. in Irvine and Newport Beach. In Mission Viejo, the fun begins at 4 p.m., when the city hosts “Prelude in the Park,” featuring a “Superhero” theme and a selection of tasty treats and beverages. Plus, in each of the cities, children and their parents won’t want to miss the always popular conducting clinic led by the maestro himself. All children who participate in the clinic are then invited during the concert to join St.Clair in front of the stage and help him conduct Sousa’s “Hands Across the Sea”!

“I always look forward to the children who help me conduct during the concert—and so does everyone in the audience!” says St.Clair. “This concert experience is ideal for children, families and for anyone who just wants a casual concert experience.”

The concert’s upbeat program opens with everyone’s feel-proud musical moment as the orchestra plays “The Star-Spangled Banner.” The orchestra then turns up the tempo for Bernstein’s vivacious Overture to “Candide” and heart-pumping “Mambo” from “West Side Story.” It quickly becomes a feast for the eyes and the ears, when the brilliant dancers from the Yaya Dance Academy (choreographed by award-winning Yaya Zhang) light up the stage for Mascagni’s rich and colorful Intermezzo from “Cavalleria rusticana.” Johannes Brahms’ enticing gypsy music from “Hungarian Dance No. 5” provides a compelling interlude before two of Johann Strauss Jr.’s most timeless and famous pieces are heard: “On the Beautiful Blue Danube” and “Thunder and Lightning Polka” — whose title pretty much sums up the experience! Prepare for an explosion of polka!

Guest violinists, the talented young Liu sisters, Sarah (13) and Danielle (17), are sure to wow the audience with their stunning performance of the “Vivace” movement from Bach’s Concerto in D Minor, packed with rhythmic vigor and festive spirit — enhanced by the return of mesmerizing dancers from the Yaya Dance Academy. The sisters’ performances are followed by two highly recognizable and thrilling works by the incomparable film-score maestro, John Williams: the march theme from “Superman” and the flying theme from “E.T., the Extra Terrestrial.”

And no SITC evening is complete without a moving salute to the United States Armed Forces! Then, to send everyone out on a heartfelt note, the Symphony ends with three patriotic gems: “America the Beautiful,” featuring the outstanding voices of the Southern California Children’s Chorus,” Irving Berlin’s “God Bless America” and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever!” — drawing a close to this enchanting night of music. 

“This year’s program truly has something for everyone!” concludes St.Clair.