Welcome back as the 2006-07 season gears up. It promises to be rich and rewarding, and it begins on Sunday, Sept. 3, with two free events involving two fine orchestras. Alas, timing will make attending both a problem.

First up at 6 p.m. is the Duke Symphony Orchestra‘s annual pops concert, which takes place this year on the brand new West Campus Plaza, the “gathering place” that Duke says “connects the Bryan Center, Page Auditorium, and the main quad” and that “was designed by Hargreaves Associates, whose previous credits include the Sydney Olympics 2000 site.” The venue “has a stage, a mist fountain, and many places to sit.” Conductor Harry Davidson plans an evening of popular favorites by outstanding American composers Aaron Copland, John Philip Sousa and George Gershwin, plus some Broadway and movie tunes and lighter fare. Picnics are welcome, $5 parking is readily available, and music lovers can likely get in and out somewhat more easily than they can at Cary’s Regency Park. The rain location is Baldwin Auditorium on Duke’s East Campus.

But Regency hosts the N.C. Symphony for Labor Day weekend’s other promising concert at 7 p.m., though it’s taped for later broadcast by WRAL and WUNC-TV. This is the long-running Pops in the Park program, which started years ago in Pullen Park before moving to Meredith College for years. Regency Park sports better acoustics, sightlines, free parking and sundry amenities. William Henry Curry will do the podium honors, and his guests this time are vocalists Rozlyn Sorrell and Leonard Rowe and stellar violinist Stefani Collins. The lineup includes music by two N.C. Symphony artists—founding conductor Lamar Stringfield’s charming “Cripple Creek” (from The Southern Mountains suite) and bass trombonist Terry Mizesko’s recent Last Voyage of the Currituck. Wagner, Kreisler, Britten, Korngold, Copland, Hale Smith, Gershwin and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture—which has become sort of the battle cry for Labor Day—are all on the schedule. Picnics are welcome.

As the season gets underway, we invite readers to visit CVNC’s extensive compilation of series offerings in the Triangle and beyond. These will supplement the Independent‘s fall preview, coming Sept. 13. CVNC’s listings are online at cvnc.org/calendar/series.html.

Finally, CVNC is pleased to announce the appointment of Roger A. Cope of Hendersonville as editor of CVNC, effective Sept. 1. Cope is a guitarist and educator whose criticism has enriched the online performing arts journal since June 2003. Details are at cvnc.org/news/2006/082006.html#CVNC.

Sunday, Sept. 3

Duke Symphony Orchestra, Harry Davidson, conductor. Pops Concert. Plaza, West Campus, Duke University, Durham. 6 p.m. Parking is available in the Bryan Center deck at $5 per car. (Rain location: Baldwin Auditorium on the East Campus.) Free. 660-3333 or music.duke.edu.

Pops in the Park: Rozlyn Sorrell, soprano, Leonard Rowe, baritone, Stefani Collins, violin, and the N.C. Symphony, William Henry Curry, conductor. Pops in the Park: Stringfield: The Southern Mountains Suite: Cripple Creek; Wagner: Rienzi: Overture; Kreisler/McAlister: Liebesfreud; Britten: The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, Op. 34; Korngold: The Sea Hawk: Selections t.b.a.; Terry Mizesko (b.1946): Last Voyage of the Currituck: A Symphonic Odyssey; Copland: Old American Songs: I Bought Me a Cat; Hale Smith (b.1925): Witness; Gershwin: Porgy and Bess: Bess You is My Woman Now; and Tchaikovsky: 1812, Overture solennelle, Op. 49. Amphitheatre, Regency Park, Cary. 7 p.m. Free. 462-2925 or www.boothamphitheatre.com.

Recommended Reading

“Hinshaw’s Celebration Concert a Worthy Experience” by Ken Hoover
Hinshaw Music presented its 32rd annual Celebration choral workshop on Aug. 4-5. A “Celebration” concert at Edenton Street United Methodist Church was a highlight of the workshop. Monica Umstaedt Rossman gave the fine Moller organ a varied and exciting workout, and Rodney Wynkoop led the Vocal Arts Ensemble of Durham.