Pacific Symphony SUMMERFEST Makes Grand Debut at OC Fair's Pacific Amphitheatre

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An exciting new chapter begins for Pacific Symphony and the Orange County community, when the orchestra settles into its brand new summer home at the OC Fair & Event Center (located in the heart of Costa Mesa), where the Symphony will be in residence during the 2017 summer season!

"Performing at Pacific Amphitheatre on the OC Fairgrounds presents a wonderful opportunity to reach new audiences and introduce them to great symphonic music outdoors under the stars," commented Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte. "That's why we're pleased to be presenting a wide variety of programming that appeals to all tastes-from pop artists and film music to our signature 'Tchaikovsky Spectacular' with cannons and fireworks-all featuring the lush sound of Pacific Symphony."

"We are very excited about this partnership with Pacific Symphony," says Kathy Kramer, OC Fair & Event Center CEO. "It brings together two great community assets in the Pacific Amphitheatre and benefits both organizations. We love the idea of fairgoers being exposed to the Symphony and Symphony fans being exposed to the fair."

The very first Pacific Symphony "SummerFest" launches July 4 in the Pacific Amphitheatre with a grand opening celebration featuring the high-energy music of Bruce Springsteen, culminating in a patriotic fireworks display! Then, Pacific Symphony and OC Fair & Event Center co-present pop icon Kenny Loggins, singing his classic hits on July 12. The blockbuster movie "Jurassic Park" will be shown on the big screen, with the score performed live on Aug. 19. Everyone's favorite salute to summer's end happens on Sept. 9 with "Tchaikovsky Spectacular," bursting with cannons and fireworks for the "1812" Overture. An additional concert in August will be announced. It all promises to be the perfect soundtrack for a perfect summer!

"Wherever and whenever Pacific Symphony performs-winter, spring, summer or fall-," says Music Director Carl St.Clair, "we dedicate ourselves to ensuring that our Symphony family has an exciting and rewarding experience. This coming summer will be no exception! As I told our patrons at the end of last summer-I wanted to leave everyone with such a strongly etched memory of how wonderful our summer concerts are that they would follow us anywhere! We are all so excited to begin our new life in the Pacific Amphitheatre at the OC Fair!"

While the location may be new (after nearly three decades performing at its former home in the now-closed Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre), the Symphony continues to offer the same high-quality, exceptional summer experience, jam-packed with exhilarating and magical music performed under the stars. In fact, patrons can expect an even more comfortable and intimate experience at Pacific Amphitheatre, which includes all-new remodeled seats and a casual, inviting atmosphere. Warm, pleasant evenings, picnics overflowing with goodies, surrounded by family and friends, and pre-concert entertainment, all remain part of the annual Symphony experience.

"Our Pacific Symphony summer concerts give audiences of all ages the opportunity to spend a night under the stars listening to wonderful music," says Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman. "This coming summer-even though our audiences will be looking up from a different concert venue than in the past-the stars will still be shining and the music will once again be exciting and beautiful!"

Available for purchase currently are a Gold Pass that includes all five SummerFest concerts and a Silver Pass that includes three concerts (July 4-Symphonic Springsteen; Aug. 19-Jurassic Park; and Sept. 9-Tchaikovsky Spectacular). SummerFest 2017 passes range from $63-$367 with a limited number of boxes also available. Single tickets go on sale in May and range from $25-$99. With a variety of food and beverage options from Spectra Food Services and Hospitality for pre-concert dining-the evening is sure to sound and taste delicious! For more information or to purchase tickets, call (714) 755-5799 or visit

"Our Fourth of July celebration will be more exciting than ever!" exclaims Maestro St.Clair. "And-as we have for many, many years-our summer will close with the ringing of bells, the sound of cannons and, of course, fireworks and Tchaikovsky's rousing '1812 Overture.' And in between, there's great music and great times!"

BORN IN THE USA! The Symphony's summer blasts off with a grand holiday celebration worthy of a new era on Tuesday, July 4, beginning at 8 p.m.! Join the orchestra, led by Maestro Kaufman, for this Independence Day extravaganza featuring "Symphonic Springsteen," a high-voltage tribute to the Boss, America's legendary singer-songwriter! The concert stars the group, "Bruce in the USA Band," which consists of seasoned world-class musicians who recreate Springsteen's marathon, party-like performances and bring one of America's most popular singers vividly to life, as headliner Matt Ryan delivers a riveting, authentic Springsteen experience. The audience will be on its feet cheering for such Springsteen hits as "Born in the USA," "My Hometown," "We Take Care of Our Own," "Dancing in the Dark," "Hungry Heart" and "Born to Run." And no July 4th evening is complete without the holiday traditions of a salute to the U.S. Armed Forces and patriotic favorites, before closing with a brilliant fireworks finale.

"It was a running joke from an early age that I looked and sounded like Bruce Springsteen," says Ryan, the group's "Bruce." "Springsteen is an original-a genius in many ways-and our recreation suspends disbelief and lets people enjoy the music delivered as soulful as possible."

"Bruce in the USA" is a note-for-note, dead-on and visually accurate recreation of a Springsteen and his E Street Band concerT. Ryan has considerable experience in the role of "The Boss." He has been a cast member of the prestigious father of all tribute shows, "Legends in Concert" since 2000. He transformed that role into a stand-alone touring show, which comes to Orange County for the very first time with the Symphony for SummerFest. But this show is more than just Ryan as Springsteen-he is backed by a band of veteran world-class professional musicians who have played for bands and acts everywhere from Queen and Meatloaf to Blue Oyster Cult, Hall & Oats, Joe Cocker and Aretha Franklin. Band members include Matthew Sully on guitar; Dave McLaurin on sax (portraying Clarence Clemons); Joey Lunsford on piano; Atticus Finch on organ and keys; Danny Miranda on bass; and Jay Nichois on drums.

"Every one of our July 4th celebrations is focused on America, and this year will again feature music that is all about our beloved country," says Kaufman. "Add to that the music of the 'Boss'-Bruce Springsteen!-and it will be an incredibly exciting holiday celebration for the whole family. And along with memorable music, our Independence Day concert includes the ultimate thrill-amazing fireworks accompanied by a great symphony orchestra and the music of the 'March King,' John Phillip Sousa."

THIS IS IT!-A special co-presentation by Pacific Symphony and OC Fair & Event Center. For more than four brilliant decades, Kenny Loggins' smash hits have catapulted the dynamic singer-songwriter to the top of the charts, making him the toast of the Grammys-and now he joins the Symphony for a rockin', moving and nostalgic evening of his greatest hits backed by the full symphony orchestra! From Loggins' early tunes, "Danny's Song" and "House at Pooh Corner," to "Celebrate Me Home," "This Is It" and the blockbuster "Footloose," this will be a spectacular musical evening under a perfect Southern California sky. This exceptional evening of Kenny Loggins' greatest hits takes place on Wednesday, July 12, at 8 p.m.-just a few days before the opening of the Orange County Fair. It is sure to take audience members back to special moments throughout their lives.

When Loggins was 7 years old, he watched his two older brothers struggle to write a song, "and I remember thinking, it just can't be that hard," the singer laughs. Around a year later, inspired by the film "Yankee Doodle Dandy," he realized songwriting was his future. "It's a moment that sticks with you," he says, "I knew deep inside that this is something I could do."

Once he started doing it, he never stopped.

Loggins' career has included writing for many of Hollywood's favorite soundtracks like "Footloose," rocking stages worldwide and finding his way into children's hearts (a soft spot for Loggins), while bringing his soulful, mesmerizing voice to platinum albums in a stunning variety of genres. His gift for crafting deeply emotional music is unparalleled, and it's been a part of his life as long as he can remember. Though he now has 12 platinum albums, a pair of Grammys and hits on almost all the Billboard charts under his belt, Loggins is far from done. He's always looking forward to what's next. "I feel very lucky that this is the way I make my living, and not a lot of people can say that," he says. "I've been lucky that I love what I do and I get to keep doing it." And now Symphony audiences get to experience the singer's passion!

PASS THE POPCORN! Taking place Saturday, Aug. 19, at 8 p.m., the orchestra performs the West Coast premiere of a soundtrack 65 million years in the making! Remember the thrills, chills and joy of experiencing one of the most exciting science fiction adventures to ever hit the big screen, when the Symphony performs live John Williams' exciting score to the full-length movie, "Jurassic Park," led by the Symphony's remarkable movie maestro, Kaufman. Masterfully directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the novel by Michael Crichton, the movie "Jurassic Park" transports you to a fantastical, secluded island where scientists have succeeded in reviving the age of dinosaurs in a brand-new, immersive theme park, the likes of which have never been seen before.

"The music of John Williams is extraordinary," says Kaufman. "And hearing his score for 'Jurassic Park' played live as the film is shown on a huge screen above the orchestra will thrill our summer series audience! Not many people have the chance to visit a Hollywood recording stage...well, hearing and seeing 'Jurassic Park' live in concert is as close as you can get to that kind of unique and thrilling experience."

During the massive blockbuster, paleontologists Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) are among a select group chosen to tour the island theme park populated by dinosaurs created from prehistoric DNA. While the park's mastermind, billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), assures everyone that the facility is safe, they find that this is not the case at all-when a variety of ferocious predators break free and go on the hunt! It's a tense, taut, thrill-a-minute roller-coaster ride with music to match! The audience should get as comfortable as they can on the edge of their seats, as there are few moments that will not leave them breathless.

"Everyone has their favorite movie and favorite film music," says Kaufman. "Motion pictures are a part of our lives in the present and in our past. To hear film music live is not only a musical 'feast' for the ears, but also for the eyes! Watching 80-plus musicians bringing to life the music of John Williams is an unforgettable and unique experience no one should pass up."

ELECTRIFYING! What more fitting way to wind down a spectacular inaugural season in its new home than for Pacific Symphony to end on the triumphant note of "Tchaikovsky Spectacular." Taking place Saturday, Sept. 9, at 8 p.m., Maestro St.Clair leads this hit parade of Romantic gems, including favorites by such mighty Russian masters as Rimsky-Korsakov, Shostakovich and Prokofiev. And, as always, the concert features the brilliant virtuosity of this year's Van Cliburn Gold Medal winner, who performs Rachmaninoff's lush and sensational Second Piano Concerto. Then, to cap off this exquisite evening is the electrifying "1812" Overture-complete with live cannons and brilliant fireworks-which always has hearts racing and spirits soaring. It's grand spectacle from beginning to end!

"Our 'Tchaikovsky Spectacular' will feature a powerful performance of Rachmaninoff's famed Second Piano Concerto," says St.Clair, "and music by other top Russian composers, not to mention, cannons and fireworks! It is sure to bring our first summer at the OC Fair to a fitting and rousing close! I promise!"

And don't miss the fifth concert of the Symphony's summer season-an additional performance in August featuring a community celebration honoring U.S. veterans. Stay tuned for the exciting details!

The Westin South Coast Plaza is the Pacific Symphony's official hotel; media sponsors include PBS SoCal, K-Earth 101, KPCC and KUSC.

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