Symphony Under the Stars, a collaboration between Carroll College and the Helena Symphony, fills Guad Hill with music and concert-goers, 8:30 p.m. Saturday, July 15.
The 14th annual event, which attracts more than 17,000 people from across Montana and beyond, also includes a fireworks finale sponsored by the Helena Community Credit Union.
This year’s theme is Rock On! The Music of the 70s and 80s. Three guest vocalists, back-up singers, a rock band, and the Helena Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Allan R. Scott, will present a wide array of classic rock hits from artists such as Chicago, Aerosmith, Madonna, Queen, Led Zeppelin, Journey, and many more.
The guest artists’ resumes include appearances on Broadway, the finals of American Idol, many studio albums, international tours with the musical Rocktopia, and touring stints as soloists with Trans-Siberian Orchestra.
Singer/dancer/actress/songwriter Chloe Lowery is a soloist in the multi-platinum selling rock band Trans-Siberian Orchestra; she’s also collaborated with Yanni, toured with Chris Botti, and performed with the New York City Ballet. Another TSO veteran, Rob Evan, has performed in seven leading roles on the New York stage, including the original Broadway cast of “Jekyll and Hyde”; and LaKisha Jones is best known to millions of TV viewers as a top-four finalist during the 2007 season of “American Idol.”
The Carroll College Guadalupe Hill is closed to the public until Friday afternoon, July 14, at 5 p.m., at which time concertgoers may drop off lawn chairs and blankets. Early blanket placement is allowed from 3-5 p.m. on Friday with a $5/blanket cash donation to the Boy Scouts, who will be on site providing security.
Organizers “highly recommend” that those planning to attend from outside of the Helena area make arrangements with friends/family to claim their spots on Friday. “We’d estimate that about 90% of the lawn is covered by blankets by 7:30 on Friday night. Seriously. It’s incredible.”
Pets, plastic tarps, paint, rocks or stakes are strictly prohibited on the lawn at all times.
The Helena Music Teachers Association, along with Piccolo’s Music, offer an instrument “petting zoo” late Saturday afternoon prior to the concert, which allows “children” of all ages to get up close and personal with a variety of musical instruments.
Picnic dinners are encouraged, and there will be a variety of local vendors on site selling food and beverages. Merchandise, including t-shirts and this year’s art print by local illustrator Connie Bergum, will be available at a booth near the vendors.
Concertgoers are encouraged to bring non-perishable or canned goods to hold down blankets, and then donate the canned goods to the Helena Food Share. Last year, over 17,000 pounds of food were collected making this event one of the largest single-day food collections for the Helena Food Share. Several drop boxes will be available to deposit the canned goods during the evening of the concert.
Cash donations are also welcome during the event, and help support the Symphony Under the Stars.