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Under the Elms Concert Series returns

Published: June 22, 2021 Author: Isaac Miller

The School of Music will be offering free outdoor concerts on June 23 and 30 outside the Templeton Blackburn Memorial Alumni Auditorium on the College Green.

The concerts, which are part of the “Under the Elms Concert Series,” take place at 7 p.m. and will last just over an hour. The UNDER the ELMS Concert Band, or “Communiversity Band,” is comprised of Ohio University faculty, students, and alumni, as well as community members from Athens and surrounding communities. The ensemble rehearses prior to each performance. 

June 23 brings the theme of Musical Stages featuring selections from Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and the Lion King, and special guest performances by Ohio Valley Summer Theater members.

 In recognition of Independence Day, the theme for the concert on June 30 is Sounds of America, an annual highlight featuring patriotic favorites.

“The Under the Elms series features various types of music, including medleys of music from movies and shows, concert marches, jazz and even some pop music,” conductor and artistic director William Talley said. 

Crowd of people sitting in lawn chairs listening to music

Talley said the series has been going on for more than 70 years and is an important part of Athens’ summer atmosphere, with many community members rejoining the “Communiversity Band” each year to perform to the delight of outdoor audiences. The concerts help businesses by increasing activity uptown and can give prospective students a glimpse into the OHIO arts scene. 

“Many players and community members have waited with great anticipation for the return of the series, and the College of Fine Arts graciously offered its financial support,” Talley said. 

Talley said audience members should bring chairs or blankets to enjoy the concerts and can also bring picnics. There is no indoor option for inclement weather.

All of these events, generously supported by Ohio University and the College of Fine Arts through Arts for OHIO, are open to all and free to the public.