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Orchestra to Offer Free Tickets for Kids to its Forest Hills Shows

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska | June 19, 2015 2:56pm | Updated on June 22, 2015 8:48am
 The New York Pops will perform twice this season at Forest Hills Stadium.
Orchestra to Offer Free Tickets for Kids For Its Forest Hills Performances
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QUEENS — The New York Pops, an orchestra specializing in popular classics, will give thousands of free tickets to children for their concerts at Forest Hills Stadium this summer.

The orchestra, which recently chose the stadium to become its official summer home, is planning two concerts this season.

On Aug. 6, The New York Pops will perform with Tony Award winner Sutton Foster and present an evening of Broadway standards.

The following night, Pink Martini, an Oregon-based musical group, will join the orchestra for “a night of eclectic and fun music,” The New York Pops announced.

Getting a large summer venue for the first time allowed the orchestra to expand its “Kids in the Balcony” program, which provides free tickets to underprivileged students, the organizers said.

At Carnegie Hall, where the orchestra performs during the rest of the year, the program offers tickets to 100 students for each concert.

At Forest Hills Stadium, which has more than 12,000 seats — roughly four times more than Carnegie Hall — the orchestra will offer more than 1,000 tickets for kids per concert.

“This shows a true commitment to the community and to education,” said Deborah Dillingham, a Forest Hills resident and Queens representative on the Panel for Educational Policy during an event to announce the program at the West Side Tennis Club Thursday.

The orchestra works with various schools and community organizations throughout the city, as well as the Department of Education, on how to distribute the free tickets, according to Anne Swanson, the orchestra’s executive director. 

It also offers family packages. With the purchase of one full-price adult ticket (which start at $10), families can get free tickets for up to four kids under 16, Swanson said.

Music director and conductor Steven Reineke said he was excited the orchestra will perform in Forest Hills this summer.

“We’re selling out our Carnegie Hall concerts, so I’m thrilled that we will be able to share our music with a larger audience in such a legendary venue this summer,” he said.

The stadium, which used to hold the U.S. Open before it moved to Flushing in 1977, held numerous concerts in the past including performances by Jimi Hendrix and the Rolling Stones.

The venue underwent a major facelift last year and has since hosted several major music stars, including The Who and Ed Sheeran.

The New York Pops said they hope to increase the number of concerts to three next summer.