Free symphony shows by the sea set for the Oceanfront this summer

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra will perform a free concert series at the Oceanfront this summer. (Photo courtesy of VSO)

VIRGINIA BEACH — Sounds of strings will float in the salty skies above Southsiders sitting on lawn chairs and blankets at a free concert series kicking off next month as part of this year’s Neptune Festival.

The Virginia Symphony Orchestra announced the line-up for its annual Symphony by the Seas series, which starts with live silver screen scores at the 31st Street stage Thursday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m.

“This summer we’ve planned some film-inspired selections, some quintessential American favorites, and some hens from the classical orchestral repertoire,” Benjamin Rous, resident conductor, said in a press release. “It’s the best way to cap off a summer day, and we are so glad the Neptune Festival brings us back each summer to take part in the wonderful vibe of the boardwalk and the beach.”

All shows will be at the 31st Street stage and they are free for the public to attend, according to the release.

“Sunsets of Hollywood” – Thursday, July 6 at 7:30 p.m.

The VSO will perform tracks from classic adventure and romance films like “Titanic,” “Mission Impossible,” “Les Misérable” and more.

“Ben’s Favorites” – Thursday, July 27 at 7:30 p.m.

Rous will hand-pick some of his personal favorites for the VSO to perform, including music from the opera “Die Fledermaus,” ballet “Swan Lake” and “Star Wars.”

“Sounds of Freedom” – Thursday, Aug. 17 at 7:30 p.m.

This show will focus on patriotism and national pride, featuring marches written by John Philip Sousa, big-band tracks by George Gershwin and American composer Aaron Copland.

“Songs for our Sailors” – Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 7:30 p.m.

Coinciding with Naval Station Norfolk’s 100th centennial, the VSO will perform music to honor military men and women with pieces like “Victory at Sea,” “Midway March” and “Hands Across the Sea.”

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