Starlight Symphony

Story & Photography by Woody Woodard

Quilts, canopies, and lawn chairs dotted the grounds of First Presbyterian Church in preparation for the 38th annual Jackson Symphony’s Starlight Symphony. The cannon brigades unloaded their cannons as orchestra members tuned their instruments. Excitement ramped up and suddenly the air was filled with laughter and friendly greetings as the audience prepared their food and drinks to enjoy during the musical performance.

Director Peter Shannon and the orchestra began by playing the “Star Spangled Banner” as the audience settled in for a concert of classical and modern music. Musical selections included composers such as Copeland, Rossini, Lloyd Weber, and Mozart as well as the music of Abba, Michael Jackson, Grease and more. The night ended with the emotional “1812 Overture” including the cannons!

Listening to our superb symphony under the stars while sharing a meal with friends is a sensational experience. “In Nashville, Memphis or Chicago one could spend $500 to experience a night like this. In Jackson, Tennessee it is supported by dedicated sponsors and offered free to the public,” said Anita Kay Archer.