News Column

Colorado Springs Philharmonic takes on '80s pop in the park

July 10, 2014

By Jen Mulson, The Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colo.)

July 10--With Colorado Springs Philharmonic and guest artist Sam Harris, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Bear Creek Regional Park, 21st Street and Argus Boulevard, free; 575-9632,

Something else: Beginning at 4:30 p.m., free shuttle buses run to the park from Cheyenne Mountain High School, 1200 W. Cheyenne Road.

Cyndi Lauper, George Michael and Kool and the Gang will ride again this summer.

The second and final concert in the Colorado Springs Philharmonic's Summer Symphony series pairs the orchestra with a touring band that features '80s pop hits and singer Sam Harris, who skyrocketed to fame in 1984 after his version of "Over the Rainbow" scored him first place on the talent show "Star Search."

Last summer, about 10,000 people were on hand to hear the orchestra perform the music of '80s metal bands, says Nathan Newbrough, president and CEO of the orchestra.

"It's a fun thing to see a park turn into a concert venue with a full rock 'n' roll show with haze and lights," he says. "Last year, we had people crowded up next to the stage, and we expect to see that again this year."

Associate conductor Thomas Wilson will lead musicians through a two-hour show featuring music by Sheena Easton, U2, Wham!, Rick Springfield, Journey, Kenny Loggins, Whitney Houston and others. On-site vendors supply the food. Attendees supply blankets and chairs. Free shuttle buses will run from Cheyenne Mountain High School beginning at 4:30 p.m.

From start to finish, the cost of the event is about $98,000, Newbrough says, and is covered by sponsorships. The sum covers the cost of paying musicians, putting together the stage, lighting and sound, and making sure police, shuttles and other necessities are covered.

"It's about providing a really high-quality, exciting experience for summer symphony listeners," Newbrough says. "The Fourth had a certain kind of music (patriotic), and now we want to give a different kind of experience at Bear Creek. We get a lot of requests for this sort of thing."

Performing a different style of music is also fun for the musicians.

"A lot of us are from that era, and it's fun to do those tunes we haven't paid much attention to lately," Wilson says. "I love it that these people get to turn out and see the philharmonic in a little different light."

Jennifer Mulson, The Gazette, 636-0270,

Other events

Gina Sicilia -- 8 p.m. Saturday, Crystola Roadhouse, 20918 U.S. 24, Woodland Park, $18-$23, $38-$43 VIP includes dinner and reserved seat; 576-5945, amusic


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Source: Gazette (Colorado Springs, CO)

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