North Carolina Symphony Launches 2016 UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest Series May 28 David Glover conducts Tchaikovsky’s Triumphant Fifth Symphony; Citizen Musicians Join in for “Play with the Pros” on Two Shorter Works; Kids 12 and Under Free on Lawn; 10 More Concerts Announced


The North Carolina Symphony launches its 2016 UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest Series at Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre on Saturday, May 28, at 7:30 p.m., with a concert program conducted by Associate Conductor David Glover. Opening works by Smetana and Wagner feature “citizen musicians” as they join the orchestra, nearly doubling its size. The concert concludes with Tchaikovsky’s monumental Fifth Symphony.  The Concert Sponsor for Opening Night is Raleigh Windows & Siding.

This summer’s series has grown again, now including 11 concerts in the 31st year of performances in Cary, the orchestra’s 16th season in the stunning lakeside pavilion built by our hosts, the Town of Cary.  Gates open for the concerts series at 5:30 p.m., except for Independence Day, when they open at 3 p.m.  Children 12 and under are admitted free on the lawn, and free kid-friendly activities will be offered at most events, so attending a North Carolina Symphony concert at Booth Amphitheatre is a wonderful summer bargain for families.  

The North Carolina Symphony’s popular UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest concerts bring great music for relaxed listening to Cary’s Booth Amphitheatre May 28 through July 9.  While concerts begin at 7:30 p.m., concertgoers may bring picnics, blankets and lawn chairs as early as 5:30 p.m. to enjoy the striking natural surroundings before the music begins. Some of music’s most exciting offerings—as well as contests and prizes, the Summerfest Instrument Zoo sponsored by MetLife Foundation for the kids, the Town of Cary’s Fourth of July celebration with fireworks, and so much more—make these evening performances under the stars a special treat for everyone in the family.

This year’s series lineup also includes:

  • On Friday, June 3, 2016’s youngest Grammy® nominee, Joey Alexander, brings his jazz trio to perform original tunes and jazz classics featuring his own impeccable improvisation; led by David Glover, the Symphony will play with Joey and also feature favorites by George Gershwin. Joey Alexander is a phenomenal rising star at age 12, who recently played at the White House in honor of International Jazz Day.

  • “Classics Under the Stars” come to Summerfest on Saturday, June 4, as David Glover conducts almost a dozen familiar light classics, from Bizet and Brahms to a selection from Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons.

  • On Friday, June 10, and Saturday, June 11, the orchestra performs an epic two-night tribute to film composer John Williams, the most Oscar®-nominated artist in history, with two unique programs perfect for music and film lovers of all ages.

    • Friday’s program, conducted by NC Symphony Music Director Grant Llewellyn, features selections from several films in the Harry Potter series—plus stirring melodies including the march from Midway and the beloved tango Por Una Cabeza, arranged by John Williams and featuring NC Symphony Concertmaster Brian Reagin.The Friday Concert Sponsor is Crabtree Valley Mall.

    • Saturday’s program opens with brand new music from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.  Guest conductor Alastair Willis will also lead the orchestra in music from E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, and more, ending with the Star Wars Suite.  Concertgoers can also meet and take photographs with costumed Star Wars characters from the all-volunteer 501st Legion.

  • From the silver screen to the Golden Age of orchestral music: on Thursday, June 16, and Friday, June 17, the Beethoven Festival shows the range and power of the great romantic composer.Each program features a virtuoso Piano Concerto followed by a masterful Symphony.

    • Thursday night’s program starts with the striking and dynamic Natasha Paremski playing Piano Concerto No. 3 with the orchestra, followed by the lovely and lyrical Seventh Symphony, under the baton of Maestro William Henry Curry.

    • Friday night’s soloist, rising star Michael Brown, joins the Symphony to play the First Piano Concerto; then the two-day spectacular is crowned by Beethoven’s immortal Fifth Symphony.David Glover will conduct.

  • Friday, June 24, is a brand new partnership between the North Carolina Symphony and DPAC, the Durham Performing Arts Center, to present “Broadway at the Booth.”David Glover conducts showstoppers from’s Audience Choice Award winner Finding Neverland and the Tony®-winning revival of The King & I, and more, with stars direct from the New York stage.The evening’s Concert Sponsor is Baird Private Wealth Management.

  • On Saturday, June 25, guest conductor Brent Havens returns to lead the Symphony, a full rock band, and singer Randy Jackson in a tribute to an iconic superstar: “The Music of David Bowie.”

  • The Symphony’s free “Independence Day” concert with fireworks is a Triangle tradition.  Gates open at 3 p.m., so come early to Booth Amphitheatre and grab the best seats on the lawn for the area’s biggest Fourth of July fireworks display.This concert filled with patriotic favorites will feature David Glover at the podium and singer Scott MacLeod.

  • The Finale of the UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest 2016 series on Saturday, July 9, will be a concert presented by the North Carolina Symphony that showcases talents of the North Tower Band, a beach music “supergroup” that has made audiences dance for 35 years, and special guest Jackie Gore, a founding member of The Embers and the writer and singer of the classic “I Love Beach Music.” (The North Carolina Symphony is presenting, but not performing at this concert.)

Summerfest 2016 is presented by UNC REX Healthcare, co-sponsored by First Citizens Bank, and hosted by the Town of Cary.  Summerfest Instrument Zoos are sponsored by MetLife Foundation.  Media sponsors are Cary Magazine, FOX 50,, and MIX 101.5/WRAL-FM.  This year’s UNC REX Healthcare is also included in’s “Artify: The Arts in Parks, a convergence of arts organizations celebrating 100 years of parks, the art that happens in them and the art inspired by them.”

Booth Amphitheatre is located at 8003 Regency Parkway in Cary, N.C.

The 11-concert UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest Series offers music lovers a perfect family outing, and once again, concertgoers who display the biggest and boldest culinary skills can win prizes. The Whole Foods Market of Cary Picnic of the Week contest returns for the seventh year. Throughout the summer, groups of concertgoers selected as the most impressive picnickers of that weekend’s concert will receive a $100 gift basket from Whole Foods Market of Cary. Two honorable mentions in the form of $25 gift cards will also be awarded. Select UNC REX Healthcare Summerfest Series concerts also feature other pre-concert activities, including Summerfest Instrument Zoos sponsored by MetLife Foundation for kids of all ages.

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