For me, summer isn’t complete until I’ve been to an outdoor concert of some sort, whether it’s a big name entertainer at a huge stadium or a local band at a weekend festival.
It’s all the better when you’re able to take in a concert for free and you’ll have several opportunities to do so as the Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra will play several dates in the South Shore Summer Music Festival.
As I was growing up, classical music is what was played in our house and although I don’t listen to it as much anymore in my car or at home, I really enjoy hearing classical music played live. Last year my father, youngest son and I went out to see one of these free concerts in Crown Point. It was a beautiful evening, the orchestra was amazing and the crowd was pleasant (many arrived hours early with full picnic spreads.) It was great to spend time with my dad listening to the music he raised me on and taking my son to his first concert.
Dad and I plan to attend one of the concerts again this year and even if you don’t think classical music is your thing, I urge you to give it a try. You may be surprised. Last year the orchestra also incorporated television theme songs and Beatles tunes to the show.
Upcoming dates are:
7;30 p.m. July 26 at Central Park, 600 N. Broad St. in Griffith (rain location Griffith High School)
7;30 p.m. July 27 at the lawn at Franciscan Communities, Main and Franciscan streets in Crown Point (rain location Crown Point High School)
7:30 p.m. Aug. 2 at the Wolf Lake Pavilion at Calumet and Sheffield avenues in Hammond (rain location Calumet College of St. Joseph Athletic Center)
7:30 p.m. Aug. 3 at Marquette Park, 1 N. Grand Ave. in Gary (rain location Wirt Emerson Academy)
If you’d like to see a concert of a different musical genre, there are a few opportunities just over the border in Munster to see some free concerts. The Music in the Park series at Centennial Park, 900 N. Centennial Drive, still has one concert left on the schedule on Aug. 16 to see the Beatles tribute band, American English, from 7 to 11 p.m. There is a cover if you wish to enter the beer tent of $5, which includes one drink.
There’s also a free concert series at the Heritage Park Gazebo at the corner of Ridge Road and Columbia Avenue in Munster. Three concerts remain in the series. Tonight is Big Guitars from Memphis, with rockabilly, swing and bluegrass. On Aug. 4, you can see Bopology, with big band sounds, jazz and swing. The final concert in the series is The Hotts on Aug. 18 with blues, rock and jazz. All concerts are from 6:30 t0 8 p.m. and in case of inclement weather, concerts will be held at Munster High School.
Whiting is also offering a free concert series this summer (but parking is $5 per car) to see the Whiting Park Festival Orchestra and Chorus. On Aug. 3 it is “Broadway Nights Remembered” on Aug. 17, it is “Celebrating Verdi & Wagner” and on Sept. 1, there will be a patriotic show titled “America the Beautiful” which will also feature a fireworks display. Shows begin at 7:30 p.m. and take place at the Mary E. Bercik Memorial Pavilion in Whiting Lakefront Park at 119th and Front streets.