My mother has season tickets to the Marin Symphony and I was her guest for a wonderful event. It was their first ever Waterfront Pops Concert on the Civic Center grounds, overlooking the lagoon. The music was classic John Williams movie soundtrack pieces, played live with an 80 piece symphony orchestra.
We got there about 4:15 to get a good spot on the lawn and sat and chatted and people-watched. There were lots of families with young kids. I remember going to Sunday afternoon concerts at Stern Grove when we were little. An outdoor concert with a picnic is a great way to become better acquainted to classical music.
I had picked out some produce at the Farmer’s Market in the morning and we started supper with raw English peas, eaten out of the pod. Rolled sandwiches and Greek salad came next – I used whole wheat pita bread, split open and spread with a combination of cream cheese and chutney. Turkey and roast pork were layered on top of the cream cheese than some thinly sliced apples. I tossed spinach and lettuce leaves with a lemony vinaigrette and piled that on before rolling it all up and cutting each roll in half.
The salad was Persian cucumbers, grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, white beans, feta cheese and a little lemon juice and olive oil. I’m afraid I didn’t get any pictures of our picnic. We finished up with wedges of pluots and oatmeal cookies that my mom made.
I was amazed, however, when I noticed some folks at intermission who along with a clever folding table, had brought little desserts (maybe some kind of apple crumble, I couldn’t really tell) in crocks and vanilla ice cream that they dished out.
Maybe next year we’ll remember to save a little treat for intermission!
The concert started at 6 PM with the Olympic Fanfare and Theme, written for the 1984 Summer Olympics. Such familiar movie soundtrack music as Jaws, Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark followed. I was choked up just a bit at the beginning, thinking about my dad and how I was lucky enough to go to many Marin Symphony concerts with my parents.
Although I think he would have love the music, he would have also been annoyed with all the kids that were running wild. I found them distracting sometimes, but I tried not to let it bother me. Overall, it was a relaxed, happy audience, enjoying the event.
The sun started to set into a bank of fog and several times flocks of birds flying behind the stage added to the music. Once it was a group of geese that swooped up and over the covered stage. Other times large flocks of blackbirds seemed to move in time to the stirring music, swirling in beautiful patterns in the sky.
After intermission, the conductor, Alasdair Neale, invited Junior Conductors to gather on the grass in front of the stage to conduct, with glow sticks, The Stars and Stripes Forever. Mom and I both noticed that most of the kids were keeping good time with the music.
Than it was back to John Williams and more familiar movie themes, including Superman, Flight to Neverland from Hook, the Theme from Schindler’s List and a Star Wars Medley.
The moon was out and we had layered on sweatshirts and jackets.
Moths fluttered in the stage lights as the concert continued. Some kids (and grown ups too) fell asleep, others ran around with glow sticks in hand.
As the concert was getting near the end, some people packed up and left. I could have been happier with maybe one or two fewer pieces, but didn’t want to leave or we would have missed out on the fireworks that were set off during another Olympic piece, Summon the Heroes, which premiered at the Atlanta, GA Olympics in 1996. It was a smashing and fitting finale to a wonderful concert.
Thank you for coming by.