FMU Performing Arts Center bringing 'Fresh Air Concert Series’ to Downtown Florence

FMU offers fresh air concert series

FLORENCE, S.C. (WMBF) - For the first time in six months, the Francis Marion University Performing Arts Center will finally hold a concert.

The Fresh Air Series will run from Oct. 11 through Nov. 12 and will feature the Florence Symphony String section, Masterworks Choir, and ensembles from the FMU music department.

The concerts will be held at the Performing Arts Center’s outdoor amphitheater.

FMU Performing Arts Center Director Bud Simmons said the pandemic has been particularly challenging for Francis Marion’s performance students.

For months, they’ve been unable to perform for a live audience, but Simmons said the “Fresh Air Series” will finally give them a chance to showcase their talents to the community in a safe environment.

“This is a tremendous opportunity to actually show their talents to their peers and the community because indoor concerts are so hard to do right now, it gives them that opportunity and they’re very excited about it," said Simmons.

Prior to the pandemic, the Performing Arts Center was well known for hosting large events, concerts and plays, among other things.

Simmons said this concert series will look different as attendance will be limited, masks are required and everyone will be socially distanced.

Even though the concerts will be different, Simmons is excited to entertain people again.

“Everyone has to wear a mask and do all the things we’ve become very accustomed to in this pandemic, but it’s going to be very wonderful to have people back here at our beautiful amphitheater here at the performing arts center," said Simmons.

Without Florence After Five and the cancellation of the Pecan Festival, entertainment has been limited in Downtown Florence.

Simmons said the Performing Arts Center has a big role in Downtown Florence, and while they aren’t ready to host large events just yet, the “Fresh Air Concert Series” is a good start.

“We wanted to give it a baby step start to coming back to small events to get started,” said Simmons. "We aren’t back yet, but we are certainly looking forward to the day we hold large scale events in the main stage theater, out here in the amphitheater, and across downtown Florence.”

The concerts are free, but seating is limited to only 150 people. Reservations are recommended.

If you would like to reserve a seat or find information on the “Fresh Air Concert Series” you can go to fmupac.org or call the ticket office at 843-661-4444.

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