The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra made a joyous return to its Forest Park home on Art Hill for a concert of audience favorites and a fireworks display. Concertgoers began filling the lawn several hours before showtime, with drinks, picnics, and a new issue of the popular Sté-FAN. Presented in memory of Mary Ann Lee, the concert has been a fixture of St. Louis' summer since 1968.
Musicians grinned and greeted friends and family as they made the trek to the stage, eager to perform for an audience of thousands. The concert included classical standards from composers like Ludwig van Beethoven and Igor Stravinsky, traditional tunes like "America the Beautiful"—sung by Nadia Maddex, an IN UNISON scholar and Lindenwood University student—as well as beloved themes from Harry Potter, Indiana Jones, and West Side Story.
Music Director Stéphane Denève brought his characteristic good humor, cracking jokes about his French accent and donning his St. Louis Blues jersey before leading the orchestra in the St. Louis Blues March. And it was clear that for both musicians and audience, absence has made the heart grow fonder. As Stéphane said, "love and music are the same thing."