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An Evening With The Jacksonville Symphony and Wilson Phillips


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Wilson Phillips sing at the St Augustine Amphitheatre. photo: 2016

Saturday evening was the perfect time to enjoy the music of the Jacksonville Symphony along with Wilson Phillips at the St Augustine Amphitheatre.

The Jacksonville Symphony began the evening with a rousing Star Spangled Banner, bringing everyone to their feet singing along. It was a most appropriate start to a Memorial Day weekend, giving the audience a moment to reflect and remember.

Assistant Conductor, Nathan Aspinall took the podium with baton in hand, while Conductor Courtney Lewis was in New York City with the New York Philharmonic. Aspinall conducted the orchestra with a steady playfulness for the familiar tunes of the big screen. Music from the movies E.T., Pirates of the Caribbean and Star Wars were met with great appreciation from those in the audience. A rousing cheer from the audience for the Star Wars melody could be heard for blocks around.

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Dianne Webb (l) and her friend Kathy Roan (r) enjoy a birthday evening. photo: 2016

Dianne Webb and her friend Kathy Roan came all the way from Georgia to enjoy the concert. “This will be a great evening to celebrate my “21st” birthday,” joked Webb before the concert.

The song “Hold On” was pivotal for everyone in the 90’s,” shared Roan as the two enjoyed a little tailgating before the event.

As darkness enveloped the Amphitheater, Wilson Phillips took to the stage with their hit “Release Me.” The ladies, dressed in spandex, sparkles and heels looked elegant for an evening with the Jacksonville Symphony. The harmonies on an Elton John favorite, “Daniel” was uplifting and soulful. It is no wonder that their rendition charted on the Billboard Adult Contemporary airplay chart.

Sisters Carnie and Wendy Wilson, are daughters of legendary Beach Boys frontman Brian Wilson and Chynna Phillips’ parents were a part of of the legendary Mamas & the Papas. Along with Wilson Phillips hits, the evening would not have been complete without a sprinkling of Beach Boy hits as well as hits from The Mamas & the Papas.

We have been singing together since we were infants,” shared Chynna as she came to the front of the stage. “This goes way back.”

We finish each others sentences,” replied Carnie as she smiled at Chynna and kicked off her shoes.

The ladies took it to another level as they sang “You Won’t See Me Cry” off the emotional album “Shadows and Light.” With the harmonic voices, the soulful support from the symphony’s string section, paired with the contrast of the lead guitar was exciting yet cerebral. Some would say it was the perfect sound together. According to Wilson, the symphonic arrangements were off of their albums. “How wonderful is the Jacksonville Symphony,” shouted Carnie Wilson, lifting her arms to the players.

The night ended with an encore of their debut single, “Hold On.” One of their biggest hits, “Hold On” soared to No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. With everyone in the pit crowding to the stage, the ladies sang their hearts out. It is no surprise that these three talented ladies were one of the leading pop acts of the century. Shaking hands with the audience, as they exited the stage, the appreciation and smiles could be felt throughout the venue from both the audience and the musicians.



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Jacksonville Symphony play before Wilson Phillips come on stage. photo: 2016