László Veres conducts the Arizona Symphonic Winds, which opens its 2013 season May 18 at Udall Park. The Tucson Pops Orchestra opens its season Sunday at Reid Park.


When you pass by Reid Park Sunday and hear the sounds of an orchestra, pull over, park the car and stroll down to the DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center.

There, as the evening cools and a slight breeze blows off the heat of the day, you'll see tuxedo-clad musicians up on the stage following the lead of an exuberant conductor who makes it worth your while to abandon your air conditioning.

The 2013 Tucson Pops Orchestra Music Under the Stars series kicks off Sunday and runs through June 8, under the baton of longtime music director László Veres.

Veres' twin orchestra Arizona Symphonic Winds will hold its spring Concert Under the Stars series beginning May 18 at Udall Park. Admission to either is free, although they happily accept donations.

The Pops Orchestra is a professional outfit, made up mostly of moonlighting Tucson Symphony Orchestra players. The Winds are amateurs with some pretty impressive chops.

The Pops perform at 7 p.m. Sundays at Reid Park's DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, East 22nd Street and South Country Club Road; www.tucsonpops.org or 722-5853. The Winds perform at 7 p.m. Saturdays at the László Veres Amphitheatre at Udall Park, 7200 E. Tanque Verde Road; www.azsymwinds.org

Programs have not been announced for the Winds, which perform May 18, 25, June 1 and June 8.

Tucson Pops

Sunday, featuring the Tucson Girls Choir and the Tucson High Magnet School Folklorico Dancers, who will be making their debut with the orchestra.

May 19, with guest vocalist Crystal Stark.

May 26, "Memorial Day Concert" with John Philip Sousa on the podium (Veres in costume), the Sons of Orpheus Male Choir and soprano Lindsey McHugh.

June 2, "Stars of the Pops" with longtime Pops Orchestra members George Blum and Jose Reyes playing a violin duet by Sarasate.

June 9, Tchaikovsky's famous "1812" Overture closes out the series, as it has for Veres' past 16 seasons.

Contact reporter Cathalena E. Burch at cburch@azstarnet.com or 573-4642.