Symphony community concert

The Nashville Symphony performs during a community concert at Historic Rock Castle in Hendersonville.

Outdoor symphony concerts have been taking place in Nashville since the 1950s, and now, after a two-year COVID-19 hiatus, the Nashville Symphony’s popular community concert series is back with five free concerts coming up this month.

The public is invited to bring blankets and lawn chairs and join the orchestra for these hourlong concerts under the stars.

Led by Nashville Symphony Assistant Conductor Nathan Aspinall, and featuring the full orchestra of 75-80 musicians, these concerts provide a wonderful free introduction to our Grammy-winning symphony.

Patrons will be treated to popular classical favorites, including music from John Williams, Aaron Copland, Antonin Dvořák, Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, John Philip Sousa, selections from “The Sound of Music” and more.

Concert dates include: 7 p.m. June 7 at Antioch Southeast Greenspace; 7:30 p.m. June 8 at Key Park in Lafayette; 7:30 p.m. June 9 at Centennial Park’s Musicians Corner; 7 p.m. June 11 at Cumberland University in Lebanon; and 7 p.m. June 12 at Crockett Park in Brentwood. Just show up.

“There’s nothing more rewarding than witnessing the ways that music brings people and communities together,” Aspinall said. “I’m especially gratified to lead the Nashville Symphony’s return to our local parks this summer because we’ve all really missed this special opportunity to meet audiences where they live, work and play. We’ll have a wonderful program of beloved favorites that promise to entertain and inspire whether you’re a devoted classical music fan or simply seeking an evening of fun under the stars,” he said.

“The goal is to bring the joy of live orchestral music to people where they live, work and play,” said symphony spokesperson Jonathan Marx. “There’s nothing more inspiring and affirming than seeing people of diverse ages and identities coming together to enjoy a concert on a warm summer night.”

He said the number of attendees varies based on the location. “Some of our smaller locations like Key Park in Lafayette have 400 attendees, while larger locations have seen up to 3,000.”

Marx said outdoor venues “can be challenging for musicians because of the climatic and acoustical conditions, but our musicians do enjoy the community concerts because they present a real and meaningful opportunity to connect and engage with audiences.”

This has to be your best chance to get to know the Nashville Symphony up close and personal without having to make a reservation or spend a single penny. What a gift to the community!

Stay cheap!

Mary Hance, who has four decades of journalism experience in the Nashville area, writes a weekly Ms. Cheap column. She also appears on Thursdays on “Talk of the Town” on NewsChannel 5. Reach her at and follow her on Facebook at

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