Mass. Symphony's free concert postponed until July 25

  • UPDATED: Rain and storms forecast for Sunday has caused the Mass. Symphony to postpone Sunday's free concert at Institute Park until July 25.

    The orchestra will perform a program entitled "Jazz in the Park: Celebrating Great African-American Composers."

    For more information, contact the Mass. Symphony at 508-754-1234.


    The Massachusetts Symphony presents two free summer concerts this July to celebrate its 70th year of admission-free performances in Worcester's Institute Park. The Orchestra's "Salute to Disney" will be on Sunday, July 11, 2021 at 7:00 PM. The following week, on Sunday, July 18 at 7:00 PM, the orchestra will perform a program entitled "Jazz in the Park: Celebrating Great African-American Composers." Conductor Jorge Soto will lead both concerts. Rain date for the series is Sunday, July 25.

    For the Disney Salute, vocal soloists Taylor Lawton, tenor, and Elisabeth LaBarre, soprano, together with the orchestra will be featured in well-known Disney and Pixar selections. Repertoire includes musical highlights from "Moana," "Frozen," "Planes," "Brave," "The Lion King," "Beauty and the Beast," "Pirates of the Caribbean," "Pocahontas," and "Aladdin," among others. Bobbie Chase will be the announcer.

    The Mass. Symphony Orchestra announces three July concerts as part of its 70th consecutive season of open-air concerts in Worcester. (Patrick O'Connor)

    For the Jazz concert, the orchestra will be joined by special guests artists including drummer Yoron Israel, head of the percussion department at Berklee College of Music in Boston, trombonist Angel Subero, Assistant Professor of trombone and brass studies at the Boston Conservatory and Berklee, and Rich Kelley, first call trumpeter with the Boston Pops. Repertoire for this concert includes Handy's "St. Louis Blues," Duke Ellington's "Caravan," "Take the A Train," and "Satin Doll," Count Basie's "One O'clock Jump," Mercer Ellington's "Things Ain't What They Used to Be," Miles Davis' "Vierd Blues," and "All Blues," and "St. Thomas" by Sonny Rollins. 

    Additional selections include "Mary Ann" and "What I'd Say" by Ray Charles, John Coltrane's "Mr. P.C." and "Impressions," "Watermelon Man" by Herbie Hancock, and Louis Armstrong's "When the Saints Go Marching In." Musician and Music Educator Ron Williams will be the announcer for this concert.

    Not yet registered on Sign up today and be the first to know what's going on in and around Worcester! Registration is free and easy

    Commenting on these performances, Paul Levenson, MSO Executive Director and son of MSO founders Harry and Madelyn Levenson, said that he and the orchestra are greatly looking forward to these performances for a number of reasons. First, he said these concerts will mark a milestone in the organization's history, with the first performance debuting under his father's baton on Sunday, September 9, 1951 and now this July marking the start of the seventh decade of free concerts in Worcester's Institute Park. He said that due to COVID-19 these concerts will be the first time in over a year that MSO musicians will have the opportunity to perform together as an ensemble, so there is great anticipation for getting everyone together again on stage. Levenson also said that the Jazz concert is particularly exciting because several of the featured performers have actually played with the featured composers. He noted that trumpeter Rich Kelley had performed with Ray Charles, and that drummer Yoron Israel has performed with Sonny Rollins. "It can't get more authentic than that," noted Levenson.

    Conductor Jorge Soto holds a Master of Music Degree in Conducting and a Bachelor of Music in violin performance both from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston. A native of Venezuela, Mr. Soto is a protege of Los Angeles Philharmonic Conductor Gustavo Dudamel and is on the faculty of Boston's Longy School of Music of Bard College. Over the past year, Mr. Soto was selected to conduct performances with the Boston Symphony and Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Taylor Lawton is one of this area's finest popular singers whose credits include major performing roles at Theatre at the Mount, Worcester County Light Opera, and an appearance with Broadway legend Idina Menzel. Elisabeth LaBarre holds a bachelor's degree in Vocal Performance from Anna Maria College and is a frequent singer at the College of the Holy Cross. She has been on the faculty at the Joy of Music and Bancroft School.

    These concerts are supported in part by generous grants from the Worcester Arts Council, a local agency, which is supported by the Massachusetts Cultural Council ("MCC"), a state agency. Major sponsors also include the The Stoddard Charitable Trust, the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation, IPG Photonics Corporation, Hoche-Scofield Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, the Hanover Insurance Group, Saint-Gobain Corporation Foundation, Reliant Medical Group, Price Chopper Supermarkets/Market 32, Wyman-Gordon Foundation, and WICN 90.5 FM. Additional sponsors include AbbVie Bioresearch Center, American Big Band Preservation Society, Cornerstone Bank, Harr Motor Group, Mela Lew, MCC's MassFestivals Program, Sullivan, Garrity and Donnelly Insurance Agencies, and WXLO 104.5 FM.

    What else is happening in and around Worcester? Click here or keep scrolling ⤵️