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Bring a picnic and enjoy the pops
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Patriotic Pops
A concert by the Gainesville Symphony Orchestra
When: Gate opens at 6 p.m.; concert 7:30 p.m. Friday
Where: Brenau University Amphitheatre, 500 Washington St. SE, Gainesville
How much: $30 adults, $27 seniors, $12 students
More info: 770-532-5727 or

Gainesville Symphony Orchestra Director Gregory Pritchard said the GSO’s upcoming Patriotic Pops Concert, set for 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Brenau University Amphitheatre, is “a great concert for everybody.”

“Even kids of all ages, people who like classical music and people who just like pops music and that kind of thing,” Pritchard said.

He said the concert, which has drawn as many as 1,700 people in the past, will be peppered with patriotic favorites including “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America,” and a crowd favorite that was missing from last year’s concert — Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

“We’re bringing back the ‘1812 Overture,’” Pritchard said. “Last year we gave it a break, but a lot of people asked that we bring that tradition back. It’s a huge hit with all the cannon sounds and so on.”

The concert will also feature movie classics by the American composer John Williams, Pritchard added. The GSO will play Williams’ compositions from “The Patriot” and some selections from Aaron Copland and Samuel Barber.

Rep. Nathan Deal will narrate during part of the concert, Pritchard said.

“We’ll also have a guest conductor for one of the pieces,” he said. “We’ve been doing that for the last few years.”

This year’s guest conductor will be J&J Foods owner Darrell Wiley, who also has a degree in music education.

“He’ll be conducting one of the (John Philip) Sousa marches,” Pritchard said.

Guests are invited to bring their own picnic to the concert, but also have the option of calling ahead for a catered meal from downtown Gainesville restaurant Scott’s on the Square.

“Because of it being an outdoor picnic, the atmosphere is great to take the entire family,” Pritchard said.

Guests can bring lawn chairs and blankets, or reserve one of the few tables left by calling the GSO box office.

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