Pro-Art Association’s Picnic with the Arts summer series will culminate with a trip “around the world” celebrating the 10th anniversary of the popular Symphony by the Lake concert.
The free event, featuring Symphony of the Mountains, begins Saturday at sunset on the lawn by the lake at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise. Concertgoers are invited to bring a picnic and lawn chairs to enjoy an evening of music from every continent — including Antarctica.
Patrons new and old are invited to join the celebration, which kicks off Pro-Art’s 45th season.
The program will include music from the popular films “Aladdin,” “The Pirates of the Caribbean” and “The Lion King,” along with the timeless standards, “You’ll Never Walk Alone” and Rossini’s “Galop” from the “Overture to William Tell.”
Bass-baritone Michael Rodgers will join Symphony of the Mountains to sing Broadway classics “The Impossible Dream” and “Ol’ Man River.”
Symphony of the Mountains, which itself is kicking off its milestone 75th anniversary season, has a strong and proud heritage.
The orchestra began when a small group of musicians dreamed of having a civic orchestra in 1946. Twenty-seven musicians attended the first rehearsal and the number quickly grew to more than 40. In the ’80s and ’90s, the orchestra grew steadily and increased its outreach.
The commitment to service now encompasses the entire region, without regard for state or county boundaries. Today, the orchestra consists of more than 70 professional musicians conducted by Cornelia Laemmli Orth.
Rodgers, the guest artist for Saturday’s concert, will also join the symphony to perform the “Music from Around the World” program a second time, on Sunday, July 25, at 7 p.m. at the Allandale Mansion amphitheater in Kingsport. Tickets for the Kingsport performance are $20 per person and available on the symphony’s website.
Pro-Art’s mission is to promote the arts and expand accessibility to cultural experiences for residents and students in Wise, Lee and Dickenson counties and the City of Norton.
The Symphony by the Lake performance in Wise is free and open to the public, supported in part by a grant from the Virginia Commission for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts.
Visit proartva.org or call (276) 376-4520 to learn more about other planned performances. You can also find Pro-Art Association on social media (@ProArtVA).
In the event of inclement weather on Saturday, an alternate location will be announced after 5 p.m. that day on the proartva.org website.