Regina Symphony Orchestra invites classical newcomers to outdoor performance

Music director Gordon Gerrard promises a different environment for Symphony Under the Sky that takes the presumed "stuffiness" out of classical music.

Symphony Under the Sky to be held at Motherwell Homestead

Guest artists will go on before the orchestra, including Belle Plaine and Terrance Littletent. (Regina Symphony Orchestra/Facebook)

Regina Symphony Orchestra music director Gordon Gerrard is hoping an upcoming performance called Symphony Under the Sky takes the presumed "stuffiness" out of classical music.

Gerrard said he wants the outdoor concert to inspire a new audience to come check out their music.

"One of the things that we fight against is that orchestra, or if you want to say classical music, is only for a certain subset of people," he said. "I find that people don't realize how much they love orchestral music until they're in the middle of it. This is a way to entice people to experience it in a different setting."

It will be Gerrard's second time conducting Symphony Under the Sky, which kicks off the next season.

While many people might expect a formal event, Gerrard said it's anything but.

"If you want to wander over and grab a drink and come back, you can totally do that. Even if it's in the middle of a piece," he said. "It's very much intended to be a casual setting that's meeting people on their comfort level."

Symphony Under the Sky takes place on Aug. 26 at the Motherwell Homestead.

For the family, there will be facepainting, old time threshing demonstrations and butter churning during the day.

Guest artists will go on before the orchestra, including Belle Plaine and Terrance Littletent.

Gerrard said many of the pieces are inspired by nature and they involve more brass instruments, rather than soft string work.

"I feel like an outdoor orchestra concert is just one of those experiences that people just don't forget. There's something about the combination of being outdoors and experiencing this music.

After a year at the helm, Gerrard said he has a strong understanding of what the community likes and is ready to push the envelope.

This season, the RSO will be hosting solo percussionist Evelyn Glennie for the opening of their master works, which will mark her first time in Regina.

With files from Saskatchewan Weekend