‘Symphony in the Vines’ returns to Wilson Creek Winery

The first-ever ‘Symphony in the Vines’ drew 150 people and organizers are hoping that the event featuring a harvest moon and music by the Temecula Valley Symphony will become a tradition in the Temecula Valley. Wilson Creek Winery photo

Temecula Valley Symphony will for the second time present “Symphony in the Vines” Sunday, Sept. 15, at Wilson Creek Winery, and the winery’s founder Gerry Wilson said he is hoping the concert will catch on.

The concert debuted last year, and about 150 guests enjoyed the performance as a full moon loomed over the symphony, which was planned of course. This year, the number in the audience is expected to double, and the moon will return to its place.

“Rosie and Gerry Wilson have always wanted to have symphony concerts at Wilson Creek Winery,” Alana Joos, managing and artistic director of the Temecula Valley Symphony, said. “They have been regular patrons of Temecula Valley Symphony for several years and they reached out to us in 2018 and invited us to perform there at the winery. The concert was a huge success with all who attended so they asked us to return for another performance. They are very proud to be able to offer a concert of this quality and support the arts.”

Wilson said he originally envisioned the concert as a tribute to the Boston Pops July 4 show, and after the first one, the Wilson Creek staff circled up to figure out if they wanted to do it again.

“We had a meeting, our group,” Wilson said. “I didn’t just want them to do it for Gerry Wilson, so I asked, ‘Are we in, are we all in?’ And they said, ‘Oh ya, we are.’ So, I turned it over to them and I am looking forward to Sunday.”

The concert will feature music from John Williams, “Game of Thrones,” Ed Sheeran, “The Greatest Showman,” Andrea Bocelli, Broadway, Freddy Mercury from Queen, Beethoven and more.

It is music that is near and dear to Gerry’s and his wife Rosie’s hearts.

“I go to (TVS) concerts; I love classical music,” Wilson said. “When I was at university, I had a chance to get acquainted with the symphony. I was fortunate enough to be singing in the symphony’s chorale part, and we did Beethoven’s Ninth and Bach’s Magnificat … so I really got interested in it. But I thought pops would be a good way to get people to hear the symphony and build it up.”

Joos said the concert will be something special.

“Attending a symphony concert at a winery is something pretty special because it’s not stuffy or formal,” Joos said. “Guests can order wine and food and enjoy the beautiful ambiance of Wilson Creek Winery. Listening to pops music played by a symphony is also very special because it’s lush and big and bold.”

Featured vocalist Jonathan Hawkins is a sought after tenor who has performed on Broadway and in countless productions worldwide.

“Jonathan is very engaging with the audience and entertaining to watch,” Joos said. “He has an incredible voice and sings everything from Broadway to pops to opera. He has sung with us several times over the past few years and our audience loves him.”

Joos said the concert is a treat for the symphony as well.

“The symphony musicians enjoy performing at venues outside of a typical theater environment,” she said. “It’s more relaxed and more fun and we really enjoy the atmosphere of the winery. This isn’t your ordinary stuffy symphony concert, be prepared to have fun and listen to some great music.”

Joos said she believes everyone should see a symphony perform live and in person.

“Much of the music we hear every single day in our normal lives is performed by a symphony in a studio somewhere where they are unseen,” Joos said. “The individual hearing the music probably doesn’t even connect the dots and think ‘Gee, that was played by a symphony orchestra.’ Seeing the performance live is memorable and touches people. It is truly something special, and everyone should have the opportunity to enjoy it.”

Doors open at 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 15, at Wilson Creek Winery, 35960 Rancho California Road, in Temecula.

Tickets are $35 general admission and $31.50 for wine club members. Seats cannot be saved earlier in the day and the concert will be performed rain or shine. They can be purchased at https://shop.wilsoncreekwinery.com/Reservation-Events.

Jeff Pack can be reached by email at jpack@reedermedia.com.