Symphony in the Cities, Mission Viejo, CA.

Each summer, a grateful Pacific Symphony says thank you to its community by throwing a big (free!) musical party with some of its Orange County neighbors. For this year’s “Symphony in the Cities,” the orchestra makes appearances in the cities of Orange, Mission Viejo, and Irvine, where Music Director Carl St.Clair has designed an evening of people-pleasing favorites: a delightful mix of classical and popular music and patriotic tunes. From classical masterpieces by Tchaikovsky and Rossini and rousing tunes by John Philip Sousa to songs from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” plus, activities for children and families—it’s a perfect way to spend a balmy summer evening. Families are encouraged to bring picnics, blankets, and chairs and arrive early for the Symphony’s Musical Playground and city festivities, prior to kicking back for a little music under the magnificent OC sky.

“I think I can safely speak for all of us at Pacific Symphony when I say that there is no time of year we enjoy more than summer!” says Maestro St.Clair. “Living in beautiful Orange County, we are so fortunate to have the opportunity to head outdoors for our ‘Symphony in the Cities’ concert series and spend time with people we might not otherwise have the chance to meet. We’re grateful to this year’s wonderful host cities of Mission Viejo and Irvine and to the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University, as well as all the fantastic individuals who work so hard to make these concerts an enjoyable experience for all.”

This summer’s “Symphony in the Cities” concerts take place on: Sun., Aug. 7 in Orange at the Aitken Arts Plaza at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University; Sat., Aug. 13 in Mission Viejo on “The Village Green” at Oso Viejo Community Park; and Sun., Aug. 14, in Irvine at Mike Ward Community Park Woodbridge.

In addition to the concerts, which all start at 7 p.m., the City of Mission Viejo hosts its “Prelude in the Park” at 4 p.m. Other pre-concert entertainment, including the Symphony’s Musical Playground—featuring hands-on activities including a drum circle and creating a musical craft—begins at 4 p.m. in Mission Viejo, and 5:30 p.m. in Irvine and at the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University.  Plus, children and their parents won’t want to miss the always-popular conducting clinic led by the Maestro himself. All children who participate in the clinic are invited to join St.Clair in front of the stage during the concert to help him conduct Sousa’s “Hands Across the Sea.”

Children and families are also invited to Ask the Orchestra, by emailing questions by Aug. 1 to AskTheOrchestra@PacificSymphony.org. Maestro St.Clair will answer selected questions from the stage during the concerts.

“One of my greatest passions is sharing my love of music with others, so every summer I am excited to bring Pacific Symphony out into the community, where it can touch the hearts of more people than ever,” says Maestro St.Clair. “This year’s program truly has something for everyone. And I most especially look forward to the children who help me conduct during the concert!”

“Pacific Symphony is thankful to the cities of Mission Viejo and Irvine, as well as the Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University, who have provided extra support and ensured that Symphony in the Cities remains a part of their communities this year,” says Pacific Symphony President John Forsyte. “Because of them, we are able to offer high-quality music in outdoor settings to people who might not otherwise have the opportunity to hear this great music and orchestra.”


Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University
Sun., Aug. 7 • 7 p.m.
5:30 p.m.—Family-friendly pre-concert activities
To register to attend this free concert, go to http://www.MuscoCenter.org
Aitken Arts Plaza at Musco Center for the Arts at Chapman University
One University Drive, Orange

This performance is supported in large part by Chapman University

Sat., Aug. 13 • 7 p.m.
4 p.m.—Prelude in the Park with family-friendly pre-concert activities
Oso Viejo Community Park on the Village Green
24932 Veterans Way, Mission Viejo

This performance is supported in large part by the City of Mission Viejo.

Sun., Aug. 14 • 7 p.m.
5:30 p.m.—Family-friendly pre-concert activities
Mike Ward Community Park Woodbridge 20 Lake Road, Irvine

This performance is supported in large part by the City of Irvine.

Carl St.Clair, Conductor
Rich Capparela, Host
Alena Hove, Violin
Chelsea Chavez, Soprano
Nicolas Preston, Tenor
Pacific Symphony

SMITH: “The Star-Spangled Banner”
ROSSINI: Overture to La gazza ladra (The Thieving Magpie)
TCHAIKOVSKY: Violin Concerto, Movement 1
STRAUSS, JR.: On the Beautiful Blue Danube
SOUSA: Hands Across the Sea March
LOEWE: “I Could Have Danced All Night” from My Fair Lady
BERNSTEIN: “Maria” from West Side Story
BERNSTEIN: Balcony Scene (“Tonight”) from West Side Story
BERNSTEIN: “Make Our Garden Grow” from Candide
VARIOUS: Armed Forces Salute
WARD: “America the Beautiful”
SOUSA: The Stars and Stripes Forever

Artists, programs, prices and dates are subject to change.


Geneva Presbyterian Church, Laguna Woods, CA.

Pacific Symphony and the Pacific Chorale will present a “Concert for Healing” on Weds., Aug. 3 from 6 – 7:30 p.m. in the Sanctuary of Geneva Presbyterian Church (24301 El Toro Road) in Laguna Woods. The Rev. Dr. Steven Marsh from Geneva and the Rev. Dr. Albany Lee from Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church will offer words of comfort and hope. Music Director Carl St.Clair will conduct the Symphony and Chorale in a program that expresses resilience and remembrance.

The concert opens with Hymn of Healing, composed by Richard A. Nichols in memory of the victims of the tragic shooting that took place on May 15. The work receives its world premiere at this performance and is setting of a text created by the church’s choir director, Eileen O’Hern. A freewill offering will be taken to benefit the Dr. John Cheng Foundation and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Masks will be required for this event.

Weds. • Aug. 3, 2022 • 6 – 7:30 p.m.
Carl St.Clair, conductor
Members of Pacific Symphony
Members of Pacific Chorale
Anna Schubert, soprano

NICHOLS: Hymn of Healing (world premiere)
TICHELI: There Will Be Rest
HAYDN: Symphony No. 49 “La passione”
PAULUS: The Road Home
MOZART: Ave Verum Corpus
MOZART: Exultate Jubilate
NEWTON: “Amazing Grace” (with the congregation)


L-R: Organists Todd Wilson, Anna Lapwood, and Christopher Houlihan.

Pacific Symphony’s Pedals & Pipes series is back! This 2022-23 season features acclaimed organists Todd Wilson, described by The Plain Dealer as the “fabulous virtuoso with fleet feet,” Anna Lapwood, known by fans as the “TikTok Organist,” and Christopher Houlihan, named one of The Diapason’s “20 Under 30” most distinguished organist leaders in the world, showcasing the supersonic splendor of the mighty William J. Gillespie Concert Organ, a spectacular one-of-a-kind instrument built specially to suit the perfect acoustics of the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall.

The 2022-23 Pedals & Pipes season, generously sponsored by Valerie and Barry Hon, is sure to be a memorable experience for all: the series opens with acclaimed organist Todd Wilson joined by members of Pacific Symphony in our beloved Holiday Organ Spectacular (Dec. 20, 2022), complete with festive favorites and other holiday repertoire. In spring, Organ Superstar Anna Logwood (April 1, 2023) will prove why she’s one of England’s up-and-coming organists who commands a huge online following as a TikTok star. And the season concludes with Organ Virtuoso Christopher Houlihan (June 4, 2023), who has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times for his “glowing, miraculously life-affirming performances.”

Subscriptions for the Pedals & Pipes series start at just $35. For more information or to purchase tickets, please call (714) 755-5799 or visit www.PacificSymphony.org.

Tues., Dec. 20, 2022 • 7:30 p.m.

Todd Wilson is “a fabulous virtuoso with fleet feet, a prodigious memory and technique to burn.” —The Plain Dealer

Celebrate the season with the king of instruments! Enjoy a magnitude of musical splendors with world-class organist Todd Wilson and members of Pacific Symphony performing a delightful mix of sacred and holiday music. Favorite Christmas carols share the bill with traditional organ works that highlight the 4,322-pipe William J. Gillespie Concert Organ.

Sat., April 1, 2023 • 3 p.m.

“The organ could not have a more dedicated or capable ambassador than Lapwood” ArtMuse London

Known as the “TikTok Organist” due to her large following on that social media platform, Anna Lapwood brings humor and youthful joie de vivre as an advocate for her instrument. She is Director of Music at Pembroke College, Cambridge. Her wide-ranging musical career has already seen performances across Europe and countless appearances on television and radio. Having been encouraged early in her career to “play like a man,” Lapwood is an inspiration to many young women and proud that they have adopted her hashtag #playlikeagirl.

Sun., June 04, 2023 • 3 p.m.

“Houlihan is the next big organ talent.”—Los Angeles Times

Organist Christopher Houlihan has established an international reputation as an “intelligently virtuoso musician” (Gramophone), hailed for his “glowing, miraculously life-affirming performances” (Los Angeles Times). In 2015, he was selected for The Diapason’s “20 Under 30,” a distinguished list of leaders in the organ world.

Pacific Symphony: January concerts


Here’s your quick, mobile-friendly guide to Pacific Symphony concerts in January, with links to tickets. There are five concerts in all during the month.

The elegant and dashing violin virtuoso Ray Chen arrives Jan. 11-13 to play the greatest violin concerto of them all, i.e. Beethoven’s. On the second half of the program, guest conductor Michael Francis, making his debut with the orchestra, leads a rare performance of Elgar’s richly tapestried Symphony No. 1. Tickets here

The Grammy-nominated Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint then comes (Jan. 21) to lead the orchestra in a one-off performance of Vivaldi’s “The Four Seasons” at the acoustically resplendent Soka Performing Arts Center. Tickets here

Later the same day, back at Segerstrom Concert Hall, organist Paul Jacobs, a national figure and local favorite, mans the Gillespie Concert Organ to perform a program of Bach and Liszt, including the Toccata and Fugue in D minor of the former and the mammoth Fantasia and Fugue on “Ad Nos, Ad Salutarem Unjam” of the latter. Tickets here