Free love

By Allan I. Ross

Lansing Symphony launches outdoor concert series with trip to the ‘60s

This spring, the Lansing Symphony reached out to local orchestra fans to choose a theme for its second free Summer Pops Concert and the people answered: Take us back the ‘60s, man.

On June 4, maestro Timothy Muffitt will lead the full orchestra and three guest vocalists through symphonic renditions of songs from the Flower Power era. The event at Adado Riverfront Park in downtown Lansing is funded by the City of Lansing.

“We had an amazing turnout for our first Summer Pops Concert last year,” said Lansing Symphony spokeswoman Rachel Santorelli. “It was exciting to see Lansing Symphony patrons and new families and individuals that had never attended a concert before (show up).”

About 600 people voted for the ‘60s theme, which just squeaked past the second place finisher, “Off to the Movies.” Santorelli said around 1,000 people attended the free event last year, which serves as the kick-off for Lansing Parks & Recreation Free Concerts in the Park series. Even though she called that turnout successful, she said event organizers have added a few things this year to entice even bigger crowds.

“This year there will be a VIP tent, similar to what you’d see at Common Ground,” Santorelli said. “There’ll be dinner, reserved seating and a cash bar. It’s going to appeal to a lot of people.”

The set list includes a mix of instrumental and vocal arrangements of songs including “Respect,” “I Heard it Through the Grapevine,” “Mack the Knife” and “Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You.”

“People will have their lawn chairs and picnic blankets out, kids will be dancing and the music is going to be fantastic,” Santorelli said. “It’s going to be a great way to start the summer.”

For more information and to purchase tickets to the VIP tent ($30), go to