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Symphony in the Park returns to Billings Sunday

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Posted at 7:38 PM, Jun 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-24 21:38:04-04

The Billings Symphony headlines an afternoon and evening of free music this Sunday, June 26 at Pioneer Park.

Q2 is proud to be one of the sponsors for the 50th anniversary of Symphony in the Park as one of Billings' great summer traditions makes its return.

The event always draws huge crowds—an evening the musicians also look forward to.

“It’s fantastic. If you think of everything that we have been through for the past two years. The opportunity to get together and celebrate as a community and have new fresh groups coming in and these traditions that everyone loves,” says Billings Symphony Music Director Anne Harrigan.

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Anne Harrigan

Two of those traditions that Harrigan started, the salute to armed forces and the kid’s conductor contest, are always popular with the crowd.

“It was like, wow, I couldn’t believe that I won. It was really cool to be conducting the whole symphony and it’s really fun,” said Daisy Kind, who won the conductor contest last year.

“I think it is super important for the youth to be involved in the music, and I’m glad they have found a way to include them with the conducting contest,” says her mother, Emily Pratt.

Sunday marks the 50th anniversary of Symphony in the Park. Both Norma Buchanan's and Donna Todd’s mothers were involved with supporting the symphony in the early years of the event.

“Pioneer Park is so beautiful and It’s like a giant town picnic—you see all your friends. People would bring blankets and sit on the lawn,” says Buchanan.

“We grew up expecting to go it became a family tradition and now I take my family, who are in their late 20s, and their two families and we will attend and picnic together just like my Mom would have us do,” said Todd.

A tradition that will carry on—as music fills the air this Sunday in Pioneer Park.

“There are people who don’t come to anything but symphony in the park—but they come every year—they come from everywhere. All over Montana and Wyoming they come in droves and they have such a good time. It’s just fantastic,” says Harrigan.

It all starts at 4 p.m. with the Montana Fiddle Club sponsored by the Bilings Youth Orchestra.

There will also be an instrument petting zoo.

The Billings Community band takes the stage at 5 p.m.

The conducting contest is at 6:45 p.m.

And the Billings Symphony featuring Paige and the People’s Band will perform at 7 p.m.