Press Release – 75th Anniversary Gala concert – 4.9.22

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

CONTACT: CALEB BAILEY, 860-443-2876, [email protected]

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Check out our full 75th Anniversary Season Brochure

75th Anniversary Gala concert – Saturday, April 9, 2022, 7:30pm
Mystic Marriott, 625 N. Road, Groton, CT 06340

On Saturday, April 9, the ECSO will celebrate its 75th anniversary season with a festive and multifaceted Gala, hosted by the Friends of the ECSO. Plan to join us at the Mystic Marriott for a musical shower of diamonds! Tickets are $100 per person and will include hors d’oeuvres, libations, and concert attendance. For more information and to register, visit

In addition, guests will have the chance to bid on a diamond pendant necklace donated by Simply Majestic. All proceeds go to support the ECSO’s mission to “inspire, educate, and connect our communities through live orchestral music.”

The sparkling evening program features such pieces as “Diamonds Are Forever” (written for the James Bond film), “Diamonds Are a Girl’s Best Friend” (from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes), and the first movement of the “Palladio” suite from Welsh composer Karl Jenkins’s Diamond Music.

Musical theater performer Ariana Straznicky-Packer—a member of the ECSO’s violin section—will sweep us off to Broadway, singing “Memory” from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats, “I Could Have Danced All Night” from Lerner and Loewe’s My Fair Lady, and “He Plays the Violin” from Sherman Edwards’s 1776.

Founded in 1946, the ECSO presented its first concerts at the end of the Swing Era. Here Come the Bands, a medley of “In the Mood,” “Begin the Beguine,” “You Made Me Love You,” “Moonlight Serenade,” and “Sing, Sing, Sing,” will transport us to the “radio days” when the Glenn Miller, Artie Shaw, Harry James, and Benny Goodman bands filled ballrooms.

Of course, there will also be gems of the classical repertoire, including the Polonaise from the opera Eugene Onegin, a Tchaikovsky masterpiece; “Voices of Spring” by Viennese Waltz King Johann Strauss Jr.; and, to close the program, the delightful “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss Sr.

Covid Policy:

In order to safely celebrate our 75th anniversary season, we have implemented concert attendance guidelines. Audience members should consult the Gala site, or our Covid-19 page for details. These guidelines are subject to change as the circumstances require and if government and venue recommendations evolve.

About Ariana Straznicky-Packer:

Ariana is making her vocal debut with Eastern CT Symphony Orchestra for this special performance; however, she is no stranger to this stage as she has been a member of the ECSO violin section since 2015. She received her Master of Music in Violin Performance (cum laude) from The Hartt School and is an active performer, frequently playing on many of Connecticut’s premiere concert stages (Bridgeport Symphony Orchestra, Waterbury Symphony Orchestra, Wallingford Symphony Orchestra, CT Philharmonic, Norwalk Symphony, New Britain Symphony Orchestra, and more.) Ariana also teaches at her private studio and owns an award-winning wedding music business called Ariana Strings LLC.

Ariana has been in love with acting and singing all her life, performing on film and stage through college. With the symphonies closed during the pandemic, she took the opportunity to formally study voice and musical theatre for the first time. Ariana recently performed as a featured soloist with Wallingford Symphony Orchestra. Theater: Past lead roles include Linda Mason in Holiday Inn: The New Irving Berlin Musical, Sister Robert Anne in Nunsense andEvillene in The Wiz. This July, you can see her starring as Fastrada in Pippin at Madison Lyric Stage. 

ECSO general copy:

We are thrilled to announce our 75th Anniversary Season’s lineup, curated by Music Director and Conductor Toshiyuki Shimada. This season marks the 12th year under the musical leadership of Music Director and Conductor Toshiyuki Shimada. Visit for more information and follow us on social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube) @ectsymphony. The ECSO offers a range of affordable seating options from $65 to as low as $12 for attendance to one concert. The ECSO will continue to offer those under 40 years of age and active or retired military members $12 tickets in premium sections.

Founded in 1946 by Norwegian immigrant, Victor Norman, the mission of the Eastern Connecticut Symphony Orchestra is to inspire, educate, and connect our communities through live orchestral music.