So this past weekend was the Hartford Symphony Orchestra’s traditional Celebrate America! concert at the Simsbury Performing Arts Center — part of the Talcott Mountain Music Festival. The field was packed with about 9,000 people who brought their picnics, wine, and blankets to enjoy lots of classic, patriotic music and fireworks. Unlike the first concert (postponed from Friday June 24th to June 25th when it was still monsooning) the weather for last Friday night was perfect.
If you missed the first two concerts, you really ought to check out one of the last three. This Friday, July 8th, brings Big Bad Voodoo Daddy playing with the HSO. You remember them — they were big in the mid to late 90’s when swing was making a resurgence. I mean, that’s when I learned to swing dance and allowed Clamp to try and toss me around like a rag doll.
Friday, July 15th’s concert is The Music of Michael Jackson with selections from the Jackson 5 all the way to MJ’s last hits. There will even be a Michael Jackson impersonator — and from the looks of the picture, it’s pre-“skin condition” MJ. The last concert, on July 22nd is A Symphonic Surfin’ Safari. Think Hawaiian shirts, Beach Boys, etc. The music my parents listened to and I think of as a part of my childhood.
Tickets are $20 for the lawn ($25 at the door) and $40 for a table seat, up close to the stage ($45 at the door). Kids under 12 are $5 for the lawn and full price at the tables. If you’re an employee at one of the Festival’s sponsors, you can receive a 10% discount with a special code. Besides your blanket or chair, picnic and booze, I suggest you bring some bug spray and a light jacket as it does get cool once the sun sets. Parking is free if you’re willing to hoof it, but if you’re lazy, you can also buy closer parking for $10.
If you’re in desperate need of a little culture, but feel confined by museums and symphony halls, this is a great event for you.