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Music, dance, theatre . . . aah the red rocks

by Liz Warren

The sun set on a perfect early summer evening May 25 as The Phoenix Symphony warmed up to begin not just a stunning concert under the stars, but an entire season of events at the Georgia Frontiere Performing Arts Pavilion at Sedona Cultural Park. 

This year marks the second year The Symphony has made the trip up from the heat of Phoenix to bring their unmatched classical and pops sounds to Sedona and northern Arizona.

“One question we’ve been getting from people is, why isn’t there something going on every single weekend at the Cultural Park?” said Executive Director Dan Schay. “The construction on Highway 89A and the City of Sedona’s restrictions on our activities have certainly made an impact on our season, but on the other hand, The Symphony doubled their performance schedule, as did Jazz on the Rocks, and Shakespeare Sedona is performing both of their shows with us.”

As the widening of the highway is completed, the community can expect more events at the amphitheater - and the Park is always available for hiking and picnics, free of charge.

Even with a limited schedule, the Park has several events on the horizon for June and July. First up, legendary jam band The String Cheese Incident comes to the Pavilion on June 28.

Canyon Movement Company’s Dancelebration 2001 takes to the amphitheater on June 29. Featuring performances by visiting companies Gash/Voight Dance Theatre of St. Louis, Human Nature of Jerome, Open Door Dance Theatre of Boulder, Colorado, Printz Dance Project of Corte Madera, California, Semaphor Danceworks of Phoenix, ZUZI Move It Dance Company of Tucson and Canyon Movement Company, the event is $15 for adults and $10 for students.

A free community Independence Day celebration, Family Fun Fourth at the Park, is scheduled to include music, fireworks and more on July 4. Another free event, a performance by the 108th Army Band, is scheduled for July 8 at 4:00 p.m. The Band recently performed for President George W. Bush during his Memorial day visit to Arizona.

Beginning July 14, Shakespeare Sedona presents Othello and All’s Well That Ends Well in repertory with a special twist - the audience will join the actors on the ample stage.

In August, New Age music originator and Sedona favorite Chris Spheeris will perform with Anthony Mazzella.

Kicking off the fall events, the Flagstaff Symphony Pops comes to the amphitheater on September 9. Sedona EcoFest II, promises another day-long extravaganza of music and environmentally-conscious vendors and more.

The 20th anniversary edition of Sedona Jazz on the Rocks is just around the corner. A Friday night concert under the stars with Chuck Mangione marks the beginning of the weekend’s events on September 21. The day-long festival event, on Saturday, September 22, features Cyrus Chestnut, Billy Mitchell with Barbara Morrison, Yellowjackets, Doug MacLeod and the Sedona Jazz on the Rocks Youth Band.

The Park’s season concludes on October 13 with a concert by R. Carlos Nakai and William Eaton.

For additional information on Park events, or to place a ticket order, please call 203-4849, ext. 253. Information is also available on the Park’s web site (

If you are interested in volunteering at Park events, please call Liz at 282-0747, ext. 221.

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