Threatening skies didn't keep the Augusta Symphony Orchestra from concluding its season Saturday night with a rousing free outdoor concert in Evans.
The cool and cloudy weather might have kept some away, organizers said, but an estimated crowd of 2,000 people took to the lawn of the Evans University Hospital campus for the symphony's third annual Pops! Under the Stars concert.
Symphony Executive Director Sandra Self said the concert served as the "grand finale" for the organization.
"It's the one event that has the single most people listening to us," she said. "We hope we can continue it. It's a tradition and people seem to enjoy it."
Conductor Donald Portnoy directed the symphony through a medley of show tunes from Broadway favorites, including Evita, A Chorus Line, South Pacific and West Side Story. The orchestra opened with The Star-Spangled Banner and The William Tell Overture and closed with Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture and John Philip Sousa's Stars and Stripes Forever.
Amy Winn, the director of communications for University Health Care System, said the concert is a gift to the community.
"Columbia County is growing very rapidly and University is committed to growing this campus and serving this community," she said. "We're also interested in supporting the arts."
Martinez residents Darice Miller, Helen Henderson and Kathy Hall enjoyed the concert while eating fruit, brownies and cheese.
"We're professionals," said Henderson of their spread, which they assembled between the concert and the CSRA Wine Festival earlier in the day.
The women said they enjoyed the music and atmosphere.
"The music is always outstanding and we like that we can bring our picnic and spread out with our friends and see people we don't bump into that often," Miller said.
The Columbia County News-Times ©2013. All Rights Reserved.