What’s the most noteworthy thing about the Symphony on Tap concert Wednesday?
That it’s free? That you can wander in off Tryon Street (or back out to the street) whenever you like? That beers cost $2 – or $4 for Olde Mecklenburg Brewery Copper drafts – and you can take them into Belk Theater?
From the CSO’s point of view, it’s that some folks who have never heard the symphony can spend a very happy hour indeed with bits of Prokofiev, Ravel and James Bond.
Symphony president and CEO Robert Stickler has targeted new audiences in his three-season tenure. He acknowledged last month that “There’s a real untapped audience (in Charlotte). If we come up with different ways to market ourselves, we think we can reach them.”
Hence this first-ever preview party, which includes music that patrons will hear in the Classics, Pops and KnightSounds series this season. (If the beer angle sounds familiar, maybe you went to one of the earlier KnightSounds concerts dubbed “Bachtoberfest: Bach and Beer.” The third one comes on Oct. 23.)
The orchestra will build up to this gig with free pop-up concerts: Friday from 5 to 6 p.m. with a woodwind trio at Latta Arcade, Saturday from 3 to 4 p.m. with a brass quintet at EpiCentre, Monday from noon to 1 p.m. with a woodwind trio at Seventh Street Public Market, Wednesday from noon to 1 p.m. with a brass quintet at Founders Hall.
Symphony On Tap, which is sponsored by Wells Fargo and Charlotte City Partners, will begin at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday outside Belk Theater with a brass ensemble playing Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man.” The concert inside will start at 6 and last an hour; theater doors will remain open for the duration.
The CSO will play a movement from Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, which opens the Classics season on Sept. 25; “Hoe-Down,” the finale to Copland’s ballet “Rodeo;” bits of Prokofiev’s ballet “Romeo and Juliet;” a medley from James Bond movies and more.
And because the CSO thinks you might come back to hear a paid concert, Symphony on Tap attendees will be eligible for discounts to other Charlotte Symphony events.