September Picnic At The Pops opens the Modesto Symphony season

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The Modesto Symphony Orchestra (MSO) presents its 92nd season with Picnic at the Pops! This is the first time the organization has been able to present the community’s favorite concert since 2019. The OSM’s first concert at the Gallo Center for the Arts will take place in October when they open their Classics series with Rhapsody in Blue by George Gershwin.

This year there will be four classics concerts and each will have performances on Friday and Saturday at the Gallo Center for the Arts. In addition to the Classics series, the OSM also offers a three-concert Pops series led by new Principal Pops conductor, Ryan Murray.

“We are delighted to present our 92nd season. The OSM was so eager to get back on stage last year and perform again for our community. We are building that momentum into our new season this fall with our exciting, ambitious and dynamic programs created with our guest conductors,” said Caroline Nickel, President and CEO of the Modesto Symphony Orchestra Association. “We are excited to bring Picnic at the Pops back in September. This gig is not only a favorite of ours, but we know it’s a community favorite as well. There really is something for everyone this season, from our Classics series with Rhapsody in Blue and Mozart’s Requiem, to the feature film Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in concert. We can’t wait to see everyone at the concert hall.

Classics Series

Four concerts given on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. at the Mary Stuart Rogers Theater of the Gallo Center for the Arts. Opening the Classics Series on October 21 and 22 is a program led by guest conductor Christopher Dragon that begins with Price’s No. 2 concert overture, then will feature pianist Gabriela Martinez performing Rhapsody in Blue by Gershwin. The evening will end with Symphony No. 9 “From the New World” by Dvorak.

Guest conductor Nicholas Hersh will conduct the OSM on November 11 and 12. Hersh’s program will begin with his own arrangement of Schubert’s String Quartet No. 14 “The Maiden and Death”. Next, pianist George Li will play Rachmaninoff’s Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini and conclude with Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5.

On February 10 and 11, 2023, the OSM will feature violinist Simone Porter who will perform Barber’s lyrical and wildly virtuoso Violin Concerto with guest conductor Andrew Grams conducting the Modesto Symphony Orchestra. The program will also include Brouwer’s Souvenirs and will end with Brahms’ Symphony No. 2.

The OSM will conclude its Classics Series on May 12 and 13, 2023 with a program led by guest conductor Anthony Parnther. The program will feature the OSM choir on the monumental piece, Mozart’s Requiem. This weekend’s program will end the same way it began with Price’s Symphony No. 3. This symphony beautifully celebrates Price’s legacy with influences from blues, jazz, ragtime and Juba, which is a dance style created by enslaved Central Africans on plantations in the American South.

Pops Series

Three concerts on Fridays at 7:30 p.m. with matinee performances on Saturdays at 2 p.m. for two of the concerts at the Mary Stuart Rogers Theater at the Gallo Center for the Arts. Conducted by Principal Pops Bandleader Ryan Murray.

The Pops series begins with a celebration of the holiday season with the ever-popular Holiday Pops concert led by bandleader Ryan Murray. The MSO will bring Ashley Brown back from Broadway to kick off the holiday season with the MSO and MSO Chorus on December 2 at 7:30 p.m. and December 3 at 2 p.m.

The second concert in the Pops series will take place on March 17, 2023 and will be conducted by Ryan Murray. Program to come.

The Pops series will conclude with Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back in concert conducted by bandleader Ryan Murray. Fans can experience the full film with the MSO performing the full score live to film June 2-3, 2023.

Special Community Concerts

The Modesto Symphony Orchestra will perform their 26th annual Pops Picnic on September 10 with The Music of Elton John featuring Michael Cavanaugh and the Modesto Symphony. The grounds open at 5 p.m. and the concert begins at 7:30 p.m. at the E. & J. Gallo winery.

MSO Chorus Director Dr. Daniel R. Afonso Jr. once again conducts the Modesto Symphony Orchestra and Chorus, along with the Opus Handbell Ensemble in a special concert that has become a treasured community tradition, the holiday candlelight concert at St. Stanislaus Catholic Church on December 20.

Subscription packages and single tickets for the MSO 2022-23 season are on sale now, online, by phone and at the Gallo Center box office. Visit ModestoSymphony.org for details. The opening hours of the Center Gallo ticket office are Monday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.; call 209-338-2100.


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