Since it practically feels like summer, go ahead and mark your calendar for one of Charlotte's favorite outdoor activities: the Charlotte Symphony's Summer Pops concerts.
Beginning the weekend of June 8, the orchestra will spend nearly a month playing under the stars in Symphony Park at SouthPark and other venues across the Charlotte area.
The annual ritual centers on the Sunday night concerts at SouthPark (photo by Jeff Cravotta). They'll take place weekly from June 10 through July 1, with the annual Independence Day concert rounding things off on July 3.
As part of its effort to get its finances in order, the orchestra will bring back the $10 ticket price for adults it inaugurated at SouthPark last year. Passes that cover all five concerts are $35. Children under 18 get in free.
The orchestra also travels to the towns surrounding Charlotte. The dates for those concerts:
June 8: Stumptown Park, Matthews.
June 22: Duke Energy Explorium, Huntersville.
June 28: Belle Johnston Park, Pineville.
June 29: Village Park, Kannapolis.
June 30: Bailey Road Park, Cornelius.
The concerts at those locations are typically free because of sponsorships from the various towns.
Albert-George Schram will return as the conductor for most nights. The orchestra's associate conductor, Jacomo Rafael Bairos, will step in at SouthPark on June 17. The orchestra will announce the musical selections later. When it does, I'll pass them along.