Symphony Under the Stars pays homage to 80s

Helena Symphony’s giant outdoor concert returns to Carroll College July 17

On Stage

After a lapse due to the pandemic, one of Montana’s largest events returns to the campus of Carroll College July 17: the Intrepid Credit Union Symphony Under the Stars.

Helena Symphony and Carroll College join forces with Intrepid Credit Union and other sponsors for the festive free outdoor concert and fireworks extravaganza. Food and beverage vendors are on-site.

Totally Radical!! The Helena Symphony takes a trip back to the soundscape of the 80s with its Symphony Under the Stars.
The Helena Symphony takes a trip back to the soundscape of the 80s with its Symphony Under the Stars.

This year’s event features the music of the Totally Awesome 80s! with the Helena Symphony Orchestra, a rock band and backup singers showcasing the top hits of iconic 80s musical acts including Sting, U2, Devo, Peter Gabriel, David Bowie, the B-52s, and many others.

“The music in many ways is there to accompany the incredible views, the sunset and the social gathering,” noted Helena Symphony Music Director Allan R. Scott.

The giant fireworks display will be ignited to the B-52’s rockin’ “Love Shack.” “This will be a party for sure,” Scott adds.

This marks the 17th Symphony Under the Stars and the community’s first major public event since the beginning of the pandemic.

“We are proud to provide the venue that will bring our community together for a magical evening after such a long year apart,” said Dr. John Cech, president of Carroll College.

The Symphony Under the Stars has been listed as one of the top five events to visit in Montana and typically infuses $1 million into the local economy.

It also marks the symphony’s return to performing before an audience after a year of live-streaming concerts. “The symphony has not stopped playing this entire season, but we’ve been doing so without an audience,” says Scott.

Nonetheless, between 3,000 and 8000 people from around the world have viewed the live broadcasts. “We’re just so excited to bring people back!”

Scott emphasized that sponsors and the orchestra will be paying close attention to CDC health guidelines. “It’s our priority to keep the staff, musicians, volunteers and the community safe,” he said during a press conference May 17.

He noted that under the latest CDC guidelines, those who are fully vaccinated should be able to relax and enjoy the event that brings up to 18,000 people to the college campus. He urged those who aren’t yet vaccinated to get a vaccine or “take the necessary precautions.”

“We especially feel that the Montana community needs this concert at this time, after almost a year and a half of not having the chance to celebrate together,” he said.

The grounds open to the public at 5 p.m. Friday, July 15, to stake their claim to a viewing plot with quilts, blankets or lawn chairs. “I joke that’s it’s like the Oklahoma Land Rush,” says Cech. “People line up way in advance.”

Or, avoid the rush: for a $5 donation, the Boy Scouts will secure spots from 3-5 p.m. July 15. A handful of reserved seats are also available and go on sale in early June.

For details, call 406-442-1860 or head to the symphony’s website; visit Facebook for updates.