Music and nature reunite for “Symphony at Shangri La” on Oct. 16

Published 12:51 pm Monday, October 10, 2016

Special to The Leader

Following the amazing success of last year’s concert, the Symphony of Southeast Texas (SOST), directed by Maestro Chelsea Tipton II, returns to Shangri La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange for another festive evening of seasonal nature and magnificent music at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 16.Presented by the Lutcher Theater in conjunction with Shangri La Gardens and the Symphony of Southeast Texas,“Symphony at Shangri La” invites patrons to stroll through the majestic gardens at the peak of Scarecrow Festival arriving at the Great Lawn in time to soak up the alluring sights and sounds of autumn and art at sunset.

“What a magical concert we had at Shangri La last year!” said Tipton. “The picturesque gardens amidst the sunset were all filled with the beautiful melodies from our orchestra. We can’t wait to do it again!”

As a response to last year’s request by the audience for a longer concert, Tipton has prepared a 90-minute concert with fun and memorable Broadway hits. The orchestra will perform “Broadway Showstoppers,” “Salute to the Big Apple,” “76 Trombones,” selections from “The Wizard of Oz” and “Oklahoma,” plus classics such as “Moon River,” and other favorites.

The concert is held in conjunction with the Scarecrow Festival at Shangri La Gardens, where dozens of hand-crafted scarecrows created by community organizations, businesses, schools, and families are displayed throughout the Gardens. Scarecrow designs range from funny, to clever, to wacky and weird and are created with repurposed and recyclable materials.

Premium seating is available in the Maestro’s Lawn area for $35 each with lawn chair seating provided. Live Oak Lawn tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students if pre-purchased, and you must bring your own lawn chair or blanket. All adult ticket prices increase $5 at the gate day of show. Online purchases remain the same prices.

Tickets can be purchased at or by calling the Lutcher Theater box office at (409) 886-5535 or the SOST office at (409) 892-2257.

Shangri La Gardens will open at 3 p.m. to enjoy the Scarecrow Festival before the concert begins at 5 p.m.

In the spirit of October, bratwurst on pretzel buns and brisket sandwiches will be available for purchase from The Hut, while supplies last. Picnic baskets are welcome but please no ice chests as beer, wine, soft drinks and ice cream will be sold on site.

Shangri La Gardens is located at 2111 West Park Avenue in Orange. The main Shangri La Gardens Visitors Parking area is located across West Park Avenue from the vehicular and pedestrian gate entrances. There is also a restricted parking area located just inside the main gate of Shangri La at 2111 West Park Avenue for vehicles with proper handicap designation. Guests with limited walking capacity are encouraged to bring their own wheelchairs, as there will be a limited number available on site. Overflow parking is available at designated locations on 16thStreet across from Shangri La Garden’s event entrance near First Financial Bank.

For those attendees living in Beaumont, the SOST is offering a special bus transportation package, which includes round trip bus service to Shangri La from the Event Centre. Buses will leave the Event Centre parking lot at 3:30 p.m. and return at approximately 7 p.m. and will allow space for lawn chairs and picnic baskets. Bus transportation is only available through SOST, and cost is $10 per seat. Reservations are required. Call (409) 892-2257 for reservations.

“Symphony at Shangri La” is sponsored by the Edaren Foundation, INVISTA, SpawGlass, Honeywell, Natalie and S. L. Greenberg, First Financial Bank, First Financial Trust and Asset Management, Walter and Susie Riedel, Texas Commission on the Arts, Granger Chevrolet, Freys Landscape, Kroger and Alphabet Soup.