Joshua Bell Cirque de la Symphonie highlights of Akron Symphony Orchestra season

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The Akron Symphony Orchestra opens its 2014-15 concert season Sept. 13 at 8 p.m. at E.J. Thomas Hall in Akron with O'er the Land of the Free, a celebration of the bicentennial of The Star-Spangled Banner.

Led by Maestro Christopher Wilkins, O'er the Land of the Free takes place 200 years to the night that this country's national anthem was penned by Francis Scott Key. The orchestra will be joined by the Akron Symphony Chorus, led by Maria Sensi Sellner, a chorus from Miller South School of the Visual and Performing Arts and a special chorus comprised of community singers.

Opening night will be followed by the first Pops Series concert of the season, Cirque de la Symphonie, on Oct. 18. Concertgoers will watch acrobats and aerialists soaring overhead while the orchestra performs on the EJ Thomas Hall stage below.

Then on Nov. 7 at 7:30 p.m., world renowned violinist Joshua Bell will perform in the first ever collaboration between the Akron Symphony Orchestra and Tuesday Musical Association.

Other highlights from the Akron Symphony Orchestra's 2014-15 season include Classic Valentine (Feb. 14, 2015) with classical guitarist Vieaux, a fully-staged production of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Broadway musical, "South Pacific" (April 25, 2015), A New Birth of Freedom (April 11, 2015) commemorating the signing of the peace accord at Appotomax and featuring the return of the "Porgy and Bess" Chorus, Levi Hammer performing Ravel's Piano Concerto at Mozart and Ravel (Nov. 22, 2014), the return of maestro Benjamin Zander in Zander Conducts Masterworks (Jan. 10, 2015) and Four Rivers (March 14, 2015), an all orchestral program that will include Duke Ellington's "river ballet," The River.

The season will also showcase popular favorites, Gospel Meets Symphony (Feb. 21, 2015), Holiday Pops (Dec. 18, 2014), Concerts for Kids, the Akron Symphony Chorus Concert (May 3, 2015) and several performances by the Akron Youth Orchestras.

For details, contact the Akron Symphony box office at 330-535-8131 or the E.J. Thomas Hall box office at 330-972-7570, or visit www.akronsymphony.org.

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