It is that wonderful time of year in Madison. Summer! Time to celebrate with family and friends in ways that become a tradition. A very special summertime tradition in Madison is the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra’s Concert on the Square series. For 5 Wednesday evenings, starting June 24, the orchestra performs on the steps of the Wisconsin State Capitol building in front of a huge crowd of fun and music loving fans. Concert goers arrive early, around 5:00PM or a bit later to spread their colorful blankets on the green capitol lawn.
The concert won’t begin until 7:00 so there is time to do a little shopping or just walking around the downtown area. Some bring games or a good book to pass the time until the crowd has gathered, dined on the available box suppers or well packed picnic baskets, chatted with friends they haven’t seen for ages, and just basically soaked up the sights and sounds of a summer evening. Then the concert begins. The music tends toward the light classical. You can hear it even if your blanket space is not right in front of the orchestra. Little boys pretend to be the conductor. Little girls twirl with bubble wands in their tiny hands. Lovers hold hands. Grandmas cuddle their grandbabies. Stressed out workers kick off their high heels and loosen their ties. Those who know the music close their eyes and sway slightly with the melody. Wine glasses are lifted and all is well in Madison.