19FSO bbqPicnic at the Hollow on the evening of Sept. 21 is the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra’s fall fundraiser. It features legendary barbecue as well as jazz performed by the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra in the beautiful Fox Hollow. Fox Hollow is the private home of Kathy and Daniel Fitch.

The picnic is the kickoff for this year’s North Carolina-themed season. “We were trying with our fall event to tie it into our North Carolina-themed concert series,” Christine Kastner, president and CEO of the FSO, said. “When we started talking about that, it seemed natural to do barbecue. Many of us happen to know Wyatt Dickson, and so while we were brainstorming, we decided to bring him home. Dickson has a restaurant in Durham called Picnic that has received local and regional attention for their barbecue.”

Fayetteville native Wyatt Dickson is specifically known for his woodsmoked, whole-hog barbecue. Barbecue is a ubiquitous experience in the south. It’s delicious, relatable and everyone has had some. It is for everyone. For Kastner, this represents something important about the FSO as well.

“One of the reasons we are doing this theme is to show that the symphony is approachable,” she said. “You don’t have to be formal to have a relationship with the symphony. It is available to all people.”

According to Kastner, the decision to make this season’s theme North Carolina came organically. When the new music director, Stefan Sanders, came to visit the area, he naturally asked a lot of questions. As they began to discuss all the wonderful and unique things that North Carolina has to offer, it seemed natural to celebrate it with music this year.

“Our first concert is titled ‘Cape Fear,’” Kastner said. “It focuses on our pirate history, the coast and oceanthemed music. We are inviting people to come in costumes because it is in October. Dress as pirates, or kids can wear whatever their Halloween costumes will be.” This concert will take place Oct. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in the Huff Concert Hall at Methodist University.

Fundraising is important for the FSO. Each year, the organization does much more than its regular concert series. Currently, it is working on bringing concerts into neighborhoods. The Thursday before Picnic at the Hollow on Sept. 21, there will be a free concert in Westover Park, which is the first concert in this new outreach program.

The FSO is also well-known for the tremendous amount of work it puts into music education in the community. The symphony has a youth orchestra, hosts summer music camps and works closely with many Cumberland County schools. Continuing these programs requires funding, and that is what the funds raised as Picnic in the Hollow will support.

Admission is limited for this event and costs $50 per person. More information and options for paying this fee can be found at www.fayettevillesymphony.org/events. Fox Hollow is located at 2418 Sunnyside School Rd.

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