MORRIS — Music Director and Conductor Leif Bjaland noted that after 30 years of presenting a Fourth of July pops concert in The Hollow in Woodbury, it seemed the perfect time to add another site in the Litchfield Hills.
He and Executive Director for the Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, Robert Cinnante, met with South Farms general manager Ben Paletsky and symphony board president Kim Welch, on a freezing winter day and all immediately agreed it was a perfect collaboration.
Bjaland said the farm’s natural amphitheater reminded him of Tanglewood Music Festival in the Berkshire Hills.
Although there were only 19 musicians under the tent, Bjaland said there would be a “large, impactful sound” with the focus on “sax and brass” for the outdoor venue. The concert showcased hit music from classic movies including “Star Trek,” “The Pink Panther,” “Rocky” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the namesake of the 2018 award-winning film and the 2019 documentary on the life of Queen singer Freddie Mercury.
Morris First Selectman Tom Weik, sitting with his wife Lisa, and friends, said he welcomed the WSO for bringing their first Pops Independence Day concert to Morris. “They played music that spanned all the generations present and the South Farms venue was a perfect setting. We are all looking forward to doing this again next July,” he said.
South Farms General Manager Ben Paletsky agreed: “I see the July 4 Pops and Picnic becoming a defining cultural experience in Litchfield County.”
Waterbury Symphony Orchestra staff on site included Welch, Cinnante, who brought along his grandfather to enjoy the concert, Marketing and Engagement Manager Andrea Nyquist, and Artistic Director Teresa Campbell.