Concerts In the Park
Since 1951, Summers in Institute park have been graced with the sounds of music. Several organizations have performed at Institute park since 1951, including the Worcester Symphony Orchestra, the Little Symphony, and the Massachusetts Symphony Orchestra
Summer Concert Series 1951-1955
In 1951, Harry Levinson, Director of what is now the Worcester Symphony Orchestra Founded the “Summer Family Concert Series”. This Concert Series in its first year attracted over three thousand listeners to the park.
Concerts as Tourism
From the beginning the concerts were a smash hit, the first year’s concerts attracted an audience of 3000. It was touted that Institute Park was perfect for the event, with the landscape creating a natural amphitheater.
Music Selections from Concerts
Music programs in the parks consisted of a wide variety of musical genres. Over the years, classical music has been performed as well as orchestral versions of contemporary songs.
In 1951, the first performance, the program consisted of classical favorites such as Waltzes, and operettas such as the Red Mill, the concert did not only cater to those interested in the classics. The first concert series also included songs from popular Broadway musicals such as South Pacific
This image is of the poster for the 1990 Pops Summer Concert series which took place in Institute Park during the summer of 1990, this poster design is similar to other years around 1990, with minor changes.
The Sneiderman Pavilion
The concert series has long attracted a wide range of sponsors. One such sponsor was the Sneiderman Family, the Sneiderman Family donated $100,000 in 1980 towards the construction of a new concert shell to replace the existing one. When the pavilion was first opened, additions to the pavilion were planned but were never completed due to unexpected challenges.
A Transition to the Future
By 2000, the Sneiderman pavilion began to look worse for wear, due to problems with the original design, a tent was erected over the pavilion, plans were made to make improvements to the original pavilion. These improvements were designed to be repurposable so that when funds are raised, parts of the improvements could be repurposed for future improvements.
The Current Concert Shell was constructed in the same location as the former Sneiderman pavilion and was inaugurated in July of 2011 Link to video of Inauguration of Current Bandstand
(More Images are coming)
Written by Arnold Muralt, special thanks to Paul Levinson for providing historical photographs back to 1951