Orange County's Pacific Symphony Presents 2012 Target Symphony in the Cities, Now thru 8/19

Grab a lawn chair, pack a picnic and head to a nearby park for an evening of free outdoor music and entertainment when Pacific Symphony's 2012 Target Symphony in the Cities (SITC) concert series celebrates summer with a mix of American and Spanish music (and more). For the eighth year in a row, Target returns as the title sponsor for this popular event, which attracts thousands of people annually to parks throughout Orange County.

This year's concerts, "Spanish Nights and American Flair," led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, take place in three cities: Mission Viejo's Oso Viejo Park (tonight, July 28), Irvine's Orange County Great Park (July 29) and Lake Forest's Pittsford Park (Aug. 19). Featuring the popular guitar group Triada, the program offers light, Spanish-infused classical and pop music by Rodrigo and Bizet, favorite patriotic songs and a little Tchaikovsky for good measure.

For more information about these concerts, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

"To complement our traditional Target Symphony in the Cities patriotic sing-along, marches and, of course, the unforgettable moment when the children help me conduct the concert, we are pleased to offer an evening of Spanish-influenced music!" says Music Director Carl St.Clair. "From the sizzling overture to Bizet's beloved opera 'Carmen' and the dances of the Farandole, to the famous Triada guitar quartet, we will have the audience smiling and tapping their toes!It will be another great time under our beautiful California summer sky!"

For this evening of cool American favorites and hot Latin rhythms, the Symphony welcomes the brilliant guitar ensemble Triada, which combines the unique talents of Bulgarian brothers Nikola, Petar and Vasil and their sister Petya Chekardzhikov. Individually, the family members are virtuoso guitarists and their intuitive sense of synergy makes their performances appealing and unique. Triada tackles Latin-flavored gems such as Farandole from "L'Arlesienne," Suite No. 2 and tasty morsels from Bizet's alluring "Carmen." The audience is also treated to Triada performing a special arrangement of Rodrigo's "Concierto andaluz" for four guitars. Plus, the concert includes selections from Tchaikovsky's "Nutcracker," John Philip Sousa's rousing "Hands Across the Sea," a salute to our armed forces and a patriotic sing-along.

"We are excited to bring Target Symphony in the Cities to the Orange County Great Park this summer," says Beth Krom, chair, Orange County Great Park Corporation. "Pacific Symphony does a wonderful job bringing the joy of symphonic music to the people of Orange County, and the Great Park will provide a perfect backdrop for their performance."<

All concerts get underway at 7 p.m., with the Symphony's pre-concert Musical Playground, featuring many interactive and hands-on activities for children (including making an instrument, playing in a drum circle, visiting an instrument petting zoo and meeting Symphony musicians) beginning at 5:30 p.m. (in Irvine and Lake Forest); Mission Viejo's "Prelude in the Park," begins at 4 p.m. and offers an array of pre-concert festivities, with the Symphony's Musical Playground beginning at 4:30 p.m.

"Can't wait-always one of the best parts of summer!" says Tawny Lee Thompson, who attends SITC in Mission Viejo. "My two little boys love dancing to the amazing music, and we always enjoy our picnic dinner. I know my family will love it as always!"

Prior to the concert-and back by popular demand-children are invited to take part in a conducting workshop led by Maestro St.Clair at 6:45 p.m., in preparation for assisting him lead Sousa's "Hands Across the Sea" during the concert. Also, fourth- and fifth-grade students from Santa Ana Summer Strings (a new violin program that is the result of a partnership between Pacific Symphony, Santa Ana Unified School District and the academic support program, THINK Together) are providing pre-concert entertainment at the Great Park.

Attendees are encouraged to pack a few cans of food along with their picnic and help support neighbors in need. Look for donation barrels in each park: in Mission Viejo, South County Outreach in partnership with the City of Mission Viejo is planning to be on hand to accept donations; at the Great Park and in Lake Forest, Orange County Food Bank is accepting donations.

"Lake Forest is thrilled to be a part of Symphony in the Cities for the sixth year in a row, providing residents and community members an evening of music, family fun and the great outdoors," says Ron Rivera, recreation coordinator/special events/youth programs. "This event continues to be one of the most unique summer experiences around, and we invite everyone to come out and enjoy the musical extravaganza."

Established as a trio in 2001, Triada's three brothers Chekardzhikov from Bulgaria are former members of the guitar quartet "Four of a Kind" with their sister Petya. A heavy schedule of concerts, television and radio appearances in Bulgaria led to concert tours in Europe from 1994-96. Since coming to the United States, the trio has performed in California, Wisconsin, Indiana, Colorado, Texas and Hawaii. In 2004, Triada won first prize in the Third Annual Guitar Ensemble Competition in Brownsville, Texas. The brothers studied guitar from early childhood with Professor Ljuben

Haralambiev in Varna, Bulgaria. In America, they completed graduate studies at California State University, Fullerton, with David Grimes. They have also participated in master classes with internationally known guitarists such as Pavel Steidl, Ana Maria Rosado, Joaquin Clerch, Eric Franceries, Georgi Vassilev and Costas Costsiolis.