Orchestra slates Labor Day events Outdoors: The Annapolis Symphony's new music director will make his debut with a pair of free concerts in the park come September.

July 16, 1998|By Phil Greenfield | Phil Greenfield,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

We've just celebrated the Fourth of July, so it's much too early to be thinking of Labor Day in end-of-summer terms.

But when free Labor Day concerts by the Annapolis Symphony are on tap, who can blame us for looking ahead just a little?

The orchestra has announced that Leslie B. Dunner, the ASO's new music director, will conduct the orchestra at a pair of free parks concerts over the Labor Day weekend. These performances will mark Dunner's official debut with the orchestra since his appointment as director in the spring.

The orchestra will perform Sept. 5 at Down's Park in Pasadena and repeat the program Sept. 6 at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis. Both concerts will begin at 5: 30 p.m. The rain date for both events is Sept. 7.

"I'm particularly pleased to make my first conducting appearance as ASO music director at these free concerts," Dunner said in a statement issued by the orchestra. " And it is fitting that your orchestra should help you celebrate this holiday."

With these concerts, the ASO revives a tradition. The orchestra played its first outdoor concert at Down's Park in 1988. Two years later, it helped celebrate the official opening of Quiet Waters.

The outdoor concerts were discontinued in 1993 for lack of funding. This year, the Anne Arundel County Department of Recreation and Parks and the Music Performance Trust Fund of the International Musicians Union are sponsoring the concerts. The orchestra was also awarded a grant by St. Margaret's Church.

"We're so glad to be doing this again," said ASO Education Director Pamela Chaconas. "I love the idea of children absorbing the music as they're running around. It's a 'whole family' activity. You bring a picnic and have a wonderful time. It's fun, it's exciting and it's free."

The orchestra has programmed fare befitting a festive atmosphere. Selections from Bizet's "Carmen" and Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess" are on the bill, as are shorter works by Johann Strauss, Scott Joplin and Leroy Anderson and some patriotic numbers.

Pub Date: 7/16/98

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