Missoula Symphony’s annual free park concert draws thousands, despite heat

Posted on: August 16, 2016

“Despite the 90-degree weather, thousands of Missoula residents crowded into Caras Park on Sunday evening to catch the 12th annual Symphony in the Park,” writes Kasey Bubnash in Sunday’s (8/14) Missoulian (Missoula, Mont.). “Darko Butorac, the music director and conductor of the Missoula Symphony Orchestra, [offered] a little something for everyone, including jazz, Americana, and this year, a lot of ’80s pop…. One unlisted song … was ‘Gonna Fly Now,’ the ‘Rocky’ theme composed by Bill Conti…. Later, ‘The Phantom of the Opera’ sounded as though it echoed through the entire valley of Missoula—and, for an encore, Prince’s ‘Purple Rain.’ … [Missoula Symphony Orchestra Executive Director John] Driscoll said [this year’s] surprises included performances from Hellgate High School vocalist Diego Kjelland, who sang Billy Joel, David Bowie and ‘Eye of the Tiger.’ During John Philip Sousa’s ‘The Stars and Stripes Forever,’ Butorac took a break from conducting and sat down to play the cello. ‘The park show is always so exciting,’ Driscoll said. ‘I would go as far to say it’s the biggest annual event in Missoula.’ ”

Posted August 16, 2016

Pictured: The Missoula Symphony Orchestra’s twelfth annual Symphony in the Park brought 6,000 people to Caras Park. Photo by Kurt Wilson/Missoulian