Music News & Reviews

Sacramento Philharmonic gets underwriting for pops concerts

The Sacramento Philharmonic, which embarked on an expanded season in 2015-16 after going dark last year, has received an undisclosed amount of money donated to underwrite a portion of the orchestra’s pops concert series.

The gift comes from Nancy McRae Fisher, CEO of Hank Fisher Properties, which until recently owned four full-service senior communities in Sacramento. The company entered into an agreement to sell all four last July.

“We hope that this gift also sends a message to the community that people are standing with us and showing their support in meaningful ways,” said Raymond Irwin, marketing coordinator for the Sacramento Philharmonic.

The pop series includes a concert Saturday featuring the music of the rock band Queen at the Community Center Theater. The philharmonic will also perform a February concert featuring aerial acrobats, with a “Salute to John Williams” scheduled for April.

“We want to change the perception of the old school orchestra,” Irwin said. “We want to be the orchestra for multi-generations who like different things.”

Irwin said ticket sales cover roughly a third of the cost of putting on a pops concert, which is more expensive than standard concerts because of higher audio requirements, rentals and crew costs.

“This is why the sponsorships are so crucial,” he said.

The three pop concerts and five regular classical concerts this season signal a return to presenting with the Sacramento Region Performing Arts Alliance, the umbrella organization that oversees the philharmonic and the dormant Sacramento Opera.

The orchestra struggled after the 2008 economic downturn and was forced to cancel its 2014-15 season. It regrouped under a consultancy team composed mostly of staffers from the Detroit Symphony.

So far tickets have been selling briskly, with about two-thirds of tickets to the Queen concert already gone.

Edward Ortiz: 916-321-1071, @edwardortiz

Sacramento Philharmonic Pops Series

The Music of Queen

WHAT: Vocalist Brody Dolyniuk sings Queen’s chart-topping platinum lyrics backed by the Sacramento Philharmonic.

WHEN: 8 p.m. Saturday

TICKETS: $43-$48

Cirque de la Symphonie

WHAT: Visually stunning feats of acrobatics are set to classical repertoire.

WHEN: 8 p.m., Feb. 27, 2016

TICKETS: $38-$48

Salute to John Williams

WHAT: The orchestra performs Williams’ iconic music from the films “Star Wars,” “Superman,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “E. T. the Extra-Terrestrial” and the Harry Potter film series.

WHEN: 8 p.m., April 23, 2016

TICKETS: $38-$48

All concerts are held at the Sacramento Community Center Theater, 1301 L St., Sacramento

INFORMATION: (916) 808-2000; (916) 808-5181 or