The Fort Worth Symphony has announced the lineup for its 2013 Concerts in the Garden series, and at least one of the new editions -- former American Idol contestant Casey James -- should be a pretty big draw.
James, who came in third on Season 9 of the Fox singing competition, has an ardent fan following, especially in North Texas, where he has plenty of roots -- raised in Cool, went to school in Millsap, splits his residency between Fort Worth and Nashville when he's not on the road, where he has spent a lot of the past two years or so (later in the summer, he'll be one of the opening acts on Taylor Swift's "Red" tour).
Also new to Concerts in the Garden this year -- and also bringing with it a passionate following -- is Fort Worth pop-rock band Green River Ordinance, which has been part of the local music scene for more than a decade and has toured nationally, opening for such acts as the Goo Goo Dolls. Neither James nor GRO will have orchestra backing.
Other acts new to the series this year include "Music of the Rolling Stones," a tribute act with full backing from the Fort Worth Symphony, and "Broadway A-Z: ABBA to Les Mis," with the symphony performing selections from such shows as Mamma Mia and Wicked. Tribute shows are a big part of the lineup, with return engagements from Elvis impersonator Kraig Parker, as well as concerts featuring the music of the Beatles, the Beach Boys and the Eagles, as well as a Woodstock tribute show.
Other returning acts include New Orleans horn man Trombone Shorty, who will kick off this year's series and whose past performances have been series highlights. Popular programs, "Star Wars & Beyond: A Laser Light Spectacular," "1812 Overture & Russian Sparklers" and the "Old-Fashioned Family Fireworks Picnic" will return. All three of those shows will feature the Fort Worth Symphony, led by associate conductor Andres Franco.
The festival will run Fridays through Sundays, June 7 through July 6, with special July 3 and 4 concerts, at the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. Gates open at 6:30 p.m., concerts begin at 8:15. Lawn tickets are $20-$25, with children 10 and younger free if accompanied by an adult. Adult table seats are $25-$50; children's table seats are $13-$50. Tickets go on sale Monday, April 29, at www.fwsymphony.org and 817-665-6000.