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FSO performs outdoors for the first time

John Benson • May 12, 2015 at 6:28 PM

WHAT: Summer Outdoor Pops Concert

WHEN: 6 p.m. Sun.

WHERE: McBride Arboretum, BGSU Firelands Campus, Huron

COST: Free

INFO: 419-621-4800 or firelandssymphony.com

A celebration of summertime weather with symphonic music is the idea behind the Firelands Symphony Orchestra's free outdoor pops concert taking place at 6 p.m. Aug. 29 at the McBride Arboretum on the BGSU Firelands campus in Huron.

Sponsored by the Lange Trust of Sandusky Library, The Randolph J. & Estelle M. Dorn Foundation and The Front-Parker Foundation, the concert marks the first time the orchestra has ventured into Mother Nature's theater.

“There are a lot of reasons to do this,” said Firelands Symphony Music Director Carl Topilow, who is also the conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Cleveland Institute of Music. “The community has been extremely supportive of the orchestra. I think not only does it show our appreciation but it also gives an opportunity for people to hear what the orchestra is about and hopefully come and hear us when we're playing indoors as well. McBride Arboretum is a nice, beautiful open space and lots of people can bring lunch and their picnics and just have a good time sitting out and enjoying music.”

 Nature lovers and music fans will enjoy what Topilow describes as a lighter program featuring “user-friendly” selections such as the “Colonel Bogey March,” medleys from “Mary Poppins,” “The Sound of Music,” “High School Musical” and “Grease.”

 “One of the most interesting things about the program is we'll have four singers from Cedar Point joining us to perform Broadway music,” Topilow said. “They'll be performing everything from 'Summertime' and 'Dancing Queen' to 'The Impossible Dream' and more.”

 In many ways, Topilow feels the Firelands Symphony Orchestra is the hidden gem of Northwest Ohio. However, he already sees signs of it gaining more attention in the mainstream.

 “This is only my third year and we've seen a tremendous improvement in attendance at our concerts,” Topilow said. “Our holiday concert had 1,000 people at the (Sandusky) State Theatre, which is from what I'm told something they've never had before, so that's very exciting for me.”

 He added, “I think we have a product that is very fun, exciting and the orchestra is playing very well. The programs are fun, interactive, lively, and I think people enjoy and take pride in the fact that we have a fine orchestra in their hometown. And with this free outdoor show, it's a lot of familiar music. So people will have a chance to hear the orchestra and become interested in what we're doing, as well as just have a nice evening out on a beautiful summer night.”

Concertgoers are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. Alcohol is not allowed, but refreshments will be for sale. In case of rain, the show will be moved to the Cedar Point building.

For more information, call 419-621-4800 or visit firelandssymphony.com.

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