Fort Wayne Philharmonic Returns To Performances With ‘Patriotic Pops’ Series | Music
Fort Wayne Philharmonic celebrates America as the orchestra launches its “Patriotic Pops” series with a performance tonight.
The 7:30 p.m. show at the DeKalb Outdoor Theater in Auburn is the Philharmonic’s first concert in more than 15 months, in which performances were suspended due to the pandemic and negotiations over the musicians’ collective agreement stretched. An agreement on the latter was reached in May, allowing for a 2021-22 summer and regular season.
Music director Andrew Constantine is anxiously awaiting the Philharmonic to perform together again.
“It’s been far too long since the orchestra has been in front of the audience,” he says. “I’m so glad we’re all coming back to what we do best. “
In addition to tonight’s concert, Constantine will conduct at 8:30 p.m. Saturday at Parkview Field and 7:30 p.m. Sunday at Central Park in Warsaw. Director of Youth Orchestras Troy Webdell will conduct at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Ouabache State Park in Bluffton, 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Pokagon State Park in Angola, and 8:30 p.m. on July 4 at Bixler Lake Park. in Kendallville.
Admission is free for all Patriotic Pops performances, although registration is required for Parkview Field seats and there is an entrance fee for national parks.
UK native Constantine jokes he has to get ahead of everyone with the irony of a Briton conducting concerts to celebrate US Independence Day, but he loves concerts “Patriotic Pops”, which he conducted with several American orchestras. What he enjoys most is the armed forces medley when current and former members of the military are asked to stand during their branch’s anthem.
Other pieces on the program include “The Star-Spangled Banner”, “1812 Overture” and the title track “Star Wars”.
The “Patriotic Pops” concerts are very busy and may be the only time of the year when some members of the public experience the Philharmonic. Constantine says the popularity of the performances shows the Philharmonic has wider relevance and reminds the community that it has a large orchestra.
“However, they are showing their support for the orchestra, it’s good to know that there are people out there who really appreciate what we do and bring to the community,” he says.
After completing the pops series, the Philharmonic has several other summer performances on its schedule, including a “Music from the Movies” concert conducted by associate conductor Caleb Young on July 17 and a classical concert that Constantine will conduct on August 15. Both are free at the Foellinger Theater, a place Constantine considers one of the city’s underrated gems.
For the full schedule for the summer season, visit FWPhil.org.
The Philharmonic will announce its 2021-22 season soon, and Constantine says he looks forward to presenting the orchestra’s soloists.
“We have great players, and they are going to be straightforward, proud, loud and numerous,” he said.