Summer was in full swing at Christine Emerson Reed Park, Saturday, July 14, as more than a hundred people gathered for the fifth concert in the ongoing Meet Me at Reed concert series. With picnic baskets, lawn chairs, blankets and cool drinks in hand, the attendees of the City of Santa Monica’s annual concert series spread across the acre-sized lawn. Returning for a second year was the hybrid performance ensemble, String Theory.
Prior to the featured performance, youth and parents met in the play stations arranged by the community recreation staff; this week, in addition to mini field hockey and oversized games, the staff brought large foam construction pieces. As String Theory finished their sound check, families, friends and neighbors made themselves comfortable and Joe Hernández-Kolski stepped onto the stage. “This July, Meet Me at Reed performances are every Saturday to celebrate Parks Month in Santa Monica. Throughout the Month all are invited to get outside and enjoy the City’s parks and beaches,” said Hernández-Kolski, adding “what you’re about to see is incredibly beautiful.”
The ensemble returned to the stage following Hernández-Kolski’s introduction. The eight-piece band kicked off their set with a rendition of Gene Autry’s “That Silver-Haired Daddy of Mine.” Holly Rothschild’s long-string harp stretched across the lawn and was fastened to one of the towering eucalyptus trees. Rothschild told the Santa Monica Mirror, “We were really happy to return to Reed Park this year. We are particularly fond of that space partly due to the fact that we have performed several times at the Miles [Memorial Playhouse].” Rothschild has choreographed multiple site-specific works throughout Santa Monica and worked with Justin Yoffe for their return performance during the Meet Me at Reed concert series.
“We were pleased to see so many people come out to enjoy the concert. It is important to have free arts events so that many different kinds of people have access to the arts. Performance tickets can be expensive so it’s great when there are free events for everyone to enjoy. Santa Monica does a fine job of providing a wide range of arts to the public,” Rothschild added.
As the band continued their repertoire of songs, pianist Danny Moynahan invited everyone to sing along to John Lennon’s “Imagine.” “The thing that struck me about Saturday’s concert (actually both our concerts at Reed Park) was how relaxed everything was. Kids were dancing under the harp and walking through our choreographed dance pieces. People were reclining on blankets, sharing picnic food. Audience members were singing with us on John Lennon’s Imagine. The imaginary wall that usually separates the audience from the performers was hardly there at all that day. That’s always a treat for us,” Moynahan said.
Throughout String Theory’s performance, a trio of dancers danced across the lawn wearing visually stunning costumes of various colors.
“We arrive at these events as strangers to one another and leave as community, having shared a unique experience together,” Moynahan added.
From Americana classics and classic rock renditions, to singalongs and original compositions, String Theory’s return performance at Meet Me at Reed transformed the lawn into an immersive environment of sight and sound for the community.
For more info, visit: www.smgov.net/reed