Symphony in the Park celebrates half century

Billings Symphony returns to Pioneer Park June 26 with music, food and fun

On Stage

The Billings Symphony returns to Pioneer Park for the 50th annual Symphony in the Park on Sunday, June 26. Guests are invited to bring their blankets, lawn chairs, and picnics for an evening of world-class entertainment in Billings’ backyard.

Face painting, an instrument petting zoo, and kids’ conducting contest are some of the many ways families can enjoy the annual Symphony in the Park.
Face painting, an instrument petting zoo, and kids’ conducting contest are some of the many ways families can enjoy the annual Symphony in the Park.Photo © Casey Page/Billings Symphony

This annual free concert is part of the Billings Symphony’s Explore Music! program and is the organization’s largest free event of the year. Each year, the Billings Symphony presents more than 100 free outreach programs throughout Southeastern Montana and Northeastern Wyoming, including Symphony in the Park, Adventure in Music Day, and Rural Rhythms — to name just a few.

This year’s Symphony in the Park concert features special guests Paige and the People’s Band, with two of their original songs arranged specially for this concert. This horn-powered group from Bozeman fuses rock, soul, funk and has shared the stage with such musical legends as The Doobie Brothers, Lyle Lovett, Brandie Carlile and Mike McCready.

The event, which typically attracts around 10,000 listeners, will also feature the Armed Forces Salute, the Kids’ Conducting Contest, Instrument Petting Zoo, and the 1812 Overture — complete with cannons! Round out the experience with picnic fare from participating food trucks and vendors.

“Please join us as we celebrate this amazing summertime tradition and get a sneak peek at our 2022–2023 season,” said Anne Harrigan, music director for the Billings Symphony. In addition to the Billings Symphony’s Classic Series and Sukin Series, the 22-23 season extends programming to 30 events in 13 venues, including adding a Free Family Series to our events.

Symphony in the Park is presented free to the community, thanks to the efforts of staff and symphony musicians, volunteers, sponsors, Billings Parks and Recreation, and participating businesses.

The event begins at 4 p.m. when concessions and the Instrument Petting Zoo open, and the Montana Fiddle Club performs, followed at 5 p.m. by the Billings Community Band. A Kids’ Conducting Contest starts at 6:45, and the orchestra takes the stage at 7 p.m. with Paige Rasmussen joining forces in The Star-Spangled Banner.

The evening’s program includes songs from film and Broadway, works by George Gershwin and John Williams, plus patriotic numbers.

Admission is free; purchase a $15 wristband at in advance or day-of at the event (if available and cash only) for a creek-side spot under a shade tent. Limited reserved parking, with shuttle service is available for $10. Reserved seating and parking are both first come, first served.