McCoy Symphony

The Longview Symphony performs during their Christmas With Neal McCoy concert, on Tuesday December 16, 2014, in LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

From the music of Journey to the songs of action movies such as “Star Wars and “Indiana Jones,” the Longview Symphony will hit a high note for its 50th anniversary season.

McCoy Symphony

The Christmas With Neal McCoy concert, on Tuesday December 16, 2014, in LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

“The 2018-2019 season offers something for ages from 4 to 104,” said Executive Director Erin Tooley.

The upcoming season starts Oct. 6 with a concert that former symphony conductor and music director Gene Moon had described as an “out-of-the-box” opening. Moon helped plan the anniversary season before accepting a job in California. A couple of different conductors are expected to lead the symphony in the coming season.

“The Oct. 6 concert is going to be a rock ’n’ roll concert. We’re going to have a cover band playing the songs of Journey,” with the orchestra, Moon said.

“We want to show how orchestras can bridge the gap from classical music … to music that’s considered pop or rock,” Moon said.

McCoy Symphony

The Christmas With Neal McCoy concert, on Tuesday December 16, 2014, in LeTourneau University’s Belcher Center. (Michael Cavazos/News-Journal Photo)

Rock band Journey formed in San Francisco in 1973. The band has earned 19 Top 40 singles and 25 Gold and Platinum albums. Hit songs have included “Don’t Stop Believin’ ” and “Open Arms,” both from 1981’s album “Escape.” Journey was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.

The rest of the season will feature more traditional classical music, though each of the remaining three concerts is associated with a holiday or specific date.

On Dec. 15, the second concert consists of popular Christmas music – think “White Christmas” – and classical music associated with the holiday, like Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite.”

The second concert highlights guest soloist and pianist Becky Priest, an American country music singer-songwriter and instrumentalist from Hubbard. She is keyboardist and background vocalist for country music star and Longview resident Neal McCoy.

“The third concert is on a very special date: Feb. 8, 2019,” Moon said.

That’s the date of the symphony’s first concert 50 years ago, on Feb. 8, 1969. The organization will celebrate its birthday that night.

“The concert is called ‘Some Enchanted Evening,’” and will feature some of the pieces performed 50 years ago, Moon said.

On May 4, the symphony will celebrate the heroes and heroines of cinema, with music from “Star Wars,” “Indiana Jones,” “The Incredibles,” and other movies, Tooley said.

This “blowout concert” will feature Nathan Nabb as guest saxophonist performing John Williams’ “Escapades,” the theme song from “Catch Me If You Can,” the 2002 movie starring Leonardo DiCaprio, Moon said.

“The next season is going to be extremely fun and extremely memorable,” Moon said.

Tooley said a 50th anniversary gala and fundraiser also is being planned for the fall.

“We are looking forward to a great 50th year celebrating both our history and the exciting future we have,” she said.

Season tickets go on sale on Aug. 1, with an option to buy the Music of Journey tickets at a discounted rate. Single tickets go on sale Aug. 15.