Local News

N.C. Symphony to play concert in Moore Square

Posted August 31, 2009 12:33 p.m. EDT
Updated September 1, 2009 11:00 a.m. EDT

— Budget cuts forced the North Carolina Symphony to cancel its popular Pops in the Park concert, but the musicians want to still give a free concert for the public.

Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker announced Monday that the concert will take place at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 12 in Moore Square. Attendees are encouraged to bring picnic baskets, lawn chairs and blankets.

"Even if you're not in the fundraising business, you're always in the friend-raising business," symphony Chief Executive David Worters said.

"This is a great way to emphasize the wonderful relationship the orchestra has with this community, and it's a great initiative on part of the musicians to make this happen," he continued.

The symphony’s budget of $11.9 million for the upcoming season is $2.2 million smaller than last year's. Worters, conductor William Henry Curry and musicians have all taken pay cuts, but the symphony also had to shorten its season to balance its books.

The musicians started the idea of a free concert, and the community jumped on the idea, Worters said.

The Red Clay Ramblers offered to perform for free, and On Stage Gear and Southern Coach are donating light, sound and transportation services. Triangle Brass Band will also perform. The City of Raleigh is also assisting with set-up.

"The orchestra is one of Raleigh's dearest treasures and contributes in countless ways to the economic development of our downtown and to the quality of life statewide," Meeker said.

WRAL was a co-sponsor of the annual Pops in the Park concert, and officials said they plan to brainstorm on ways to improve the event in the future.