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Atlanta Symphony Orchestra kicks off 2018 Summer MusicFest
Atlanta Symphony Orchestra
Robert Spano, music director of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, conducts at Atlanta Symphony Hall in Atlanta. The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra will be performing at The Arts Council's Summer MusicFest 8-10 p.m. June 22 at The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center. (Courtesy of Atlanta Symphony Orchestra)
Back in Time
The Gainesville-based band Back in Time will be performing at 8 p.m. Aug. 4, 2018 on the lawn of The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center. - photo by For The Times

The Arts Council Summer MusicFest

When: Performances throughout June, July and August. Gates open at 6 p.m. and concerts begin at 8 p.m.

Where: The Arts Council Smithgall Arts Center, 331 Spring St. SW, Gainesville

How much: Prices for each concert vary

More information:

Since 1996, The Arts Council has presented its Summer MusicFest for the people of Gainesville to enjoy a variety of performances, and on June 22 the tradition will continue as the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra kicks off the 2018 concert series on the Smithgall Arts Center lawn.

“(The) series is comprised of local, regional and national, and sometimes international, acts,” said Gladys Wyant, executive director of The Arts Council. “It’s a way to bring great music outside.”

For 2018, The Arts Councils has four performances on its calendar, including concerts by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Northwinds Symphonic Band, Back in Time Band and the Swingin’ Medallions.

“We try to fill the gaps in the community that aren’t being served and what people tell us they want and that’s how we make those selections,” Wyant said about the bands chosen for this year.

But even before the groups were selected, people were ready to buy tickets.

“If The Arts Council is doing it, it’s going to be quality and something you would enjoy,” she said.
“That’s the message we have tried to work on for years.”

Wyant said each concert will be family-friendly and reach people of all ages, including the first performance by the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra.

“We wanted to introduce the symphonic music to younger people, and they tend to enjoy being outside more. It’s music that people will know (and) that they will enjoy,” she said, mentioning the group will perform pieces from West Side Story and Star Wars.

And in addition to great entertainment, Wyant said the concerts will be a place for people to socialize this summer.

“They can expect to have a good time,” she said. “We open the gates at 6 p.m., and they can socialize with family and friends and then the concerts start at 8 p.m. People can come sit under the stars and wiggle their toes in the grass if they like. It’s kind of magical.”

She also said food trucks will be at the concerts.

“We'll change it up a bit so we’ll have different food,” she said. “And they can bring their own picnics and adult beverages as well.”

While ticket prices for each concert vary, Wyant said they are all affordable.

“You can buy a table for eight so you don’t have to worry about dragging lawn chairs or anything else with you,” she said about the options. “We try to make the student prices affordable as well.”

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