The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion’s 2008 Performing Arts Season takes you on a journey filled with fun, dancing, classical music, old favorites and more.

In addition to eight exhilarating performances by the Houston Symphony - including its annual Star-Spangled Salute - the Texas Music Festival Orchestra returns to The Pavilion with guest conductor Christoph Campestrini and the 14th Annual Children’s Festival erupts with family fun. All this and more as The Pavilion kicks off its 19th Performing Arts Season.

Thursday, April 10
Tickle Me Symphony
Houston Symphony - Brett Mitchell, Conductor
7:30 p.m. / Gates open at 5:30 p.m.
Hats Off to Reading Celebration 5:30 - 6:45 p.m.
Tickets: $15 / $10 / Free lawn seating courtesy of Woodforest National Bank

Get ready to explore the funny side of classical music April 10 with the Houston Symphony’s Tickle Me Symphony, a concert of music that shows how composers like to have a little fun. Conductor for the evening, Brett Mitchell, will have you snickering with delight with Glinka’s Overture to “Ruslan and Ludmila.” Other pieces to tickle your funny bone include excerpts from Offenbach’s Can-Can from “Orpheus in the Underworld,” Ponchielli’s Dance of the Hours from “La Gioconda,” Mendelssohn’s “A Midsummer Nights Dream,” Kabalevsky’s Suite from “The Comedians” and more. Be prepared to be amused by Tickle Me Symphony! Pre-concert activities begin at 5:30 p.m. with the Hats Off to Reading Celebration in The Pavilion’s Event Tent. Other pre-concert activities begin at 6:30 p.m.

Friday, May 16
Spanish Nights
Houston Symphony - Hans Graf, Conductor/ Eliot Fisk, Guitar/ Shai Wosner, Piano
8 p.m. / Gates open at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15 / $10 / Free lawn seating courtesy of The Wortham Foundation

On May 16, travel to Spain without ever leaving your seat as Music Director Hans Graf and the Houston Symphony perform a concert of romantic and passionate Spanish works. Appropriately titled Spanish Nights, this evening features three works by Spanish composers and one piece by a Russian composer based on Spanish melodies.

Manuel de Falla’s “El amor brujo” (“Love, the Magician”) tells the story of a gypsy girl tormented by the ghost of her faithless former lover. The music contains moments of remarkable beauty and includes the celebrated “Ritual Fire Dance” and “Dance of Terror.” Pianist Shai Wosner joins the symphony for another of Falla’s works, “Nights in the Gardens of Spain.” The evening also features classical guitarist Eliot Fisk performing with the symphony on Joaquín Rodrigo’s “Concierto de Aranjuez,” a piece written in Paris in 1939 amid the tensions of the pending war. The program concludes with the lively melodies of “Capriccio Espagnol,” Op. 34, by Russian-born Rimsky-Korsakov. This work, one of his most-famous orchestral compositions, features a large percussion section and many special techniques and articulations. Pre-concert activities, including The Pavilion Partners Instrument Petting Zoo, begin at 7 p.m. in the Fidelity Investments Plaza.

Wednesday, May 21
Let’s Dance!
Houston Symphony - Brett Mitchell, Conductor
8 p.m. / Gates open at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15 / $10 / Free lawn seating

Get your dancing shoes on for the Houston Symphony’s Let’s Dance! May 21. Brett Mitchell, conductor, leads the Symphony in an evening full of music that makes your heart dance and spirit soar.

Mitchell gets the audience tapping their feet with Offenbach’s Can-Can from “Orpheus in the Underworld,” Tchaikovsky’s Waltz from “The Sleeping Beauty,” excerpts from Bernstein’s Divertimento for Orchestra, Waldteufel’s “Les Pantineurs,” (“The Skaters”), Op. 183 and Sousa’s “The Stars and Strips Forever.” The performance also features dancers from Houston Ballet’s Ben Stevenson Academy. Get ready to sway to the music at Let’s Dance! Pre-concert activities begin at 7 p.m. in the Fidelity Investments Plaza.

Friday, June 13
Family Fun Concert
Houston Symphony - Brett Mitchell, Conductor
8 p.m. / Gates open at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15 / $10 / Free lawn seating
Sponsored in part by Houston Community Newspapers

Join the Houston Symphony June 13 for a Family Fun Concert. It’s a night the whole family can enjoy. Robert Franz conducts the Symphony with music for mom, dad and the kids can to treasure. Pre-concert activities begin at 7 p.m. in the Fidelity Investments Plaza.

Friday, June 20
Texas Music Festival Orchestra - Christoph Campestrini, Conductor
8 p.m. / Gates open at 7 p.m.
Free event sponsored by The Pavilion Partners and Houston Community Newspapers

Join us as more than 100 gifted musicians, in conjunction with the Immanuel and Helen Olshan Texas Music Festival, return to The Pavilion this summer. The festival is an intensive four-week study program at the University of Houston’s Moores School of Music. Under the direction of Christoph Campestrini, these young artists perform Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2 and Shostakovich’s “Festive Overture.” The program also includes a special solo performance by this year’s winner of the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Young Artist Competition. The winner is determined the night of the performance. Pre-concert activities begin at 7 p.m.

Thursday, July 3
Star-Spangled Salute
Houston Symphony - Michael Krajewski, Conductor
8 p.m. / Gates open at 6:30 p.m.
Free event generously sponsored by The Woodlands Development Company

This free Independence Eve spectacular features the Houston Symphony in a selection of patriotic favorites! Led by Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski, the Symphony performs a variety of traditional favorites, American classics, sing-alongs, and of course, Tchaikovsky’s "1812 Overture" complete with cannons from atop the hill. Don’t miss commemorating the birth of our nation by joining the Symphony in this grandiose celebration. It’s an evening of good, old-fashioned family fun! Pre-concert activities begin at 6:30 p.m.

Wednesday, August 27
Zoot Suit Symphony
Houston Symphony - Michael Krajewski, Conductor
8 p.m. / Gates open at 7p.m.
Tickets: $15 / $10 / Free lawn seating courtesy of Woodforest National Bank

It’s a night of swingin’ music and rhythm as the Houston Symphony, under the expert direction of Michael Krajewski, go all out with this high-energy show.

Friday, September 19
Music of Mozart
Houston Symphony - Hans Graf, Conductor
8 p.m. / Gates open at 7 p.m.
Tickets: $15 / $10 / Free lawn seating courtesy of The Wortham Foundation

Relish in an evening full of classical Mozart music on Sept. 19 with the Houston’s Symphony’s Music of Mozart. Hans Graf conducts the world-renowned orchestra in Mozart’s Symphony No. 29 and Symphony No. 35, or “Haffner” Symphony. Also on the program is Ravel’s “Le Tombeau de Couperin.” Take pleasure in the classics with Music of Mozart! Pre-concert activities begin at 7 p.m.

Friday, October 24
Hocus Pocus Pops
Houston Symphony - Brett Mitchell, Conductor
7:30 p.m. / Gates at open 6 p.m.
Tickets: $15 / $10 / Free lawn seating courtesy of H-E-B

Bring your family and friends to this “spooktacular” Halloween event. Hocus Pocus Pops is a night of tricks, treats and enchanting music as the Houston Symphony casts a magical spell on The Pavilion. Daddies, mummies and all the little ghosts and goblins are invited to dress up in their favorite Halloween costumes. Concertgoers are sure to have a “hauntingly” good time. Pre-concert activities begin at 6 p.m. in the Fidelity Investments Plaza.

Thursday & Friday, Nov. 13 & 14 (school day performances only)
Saturday, Nov. 15, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 16, 12 p.m. – 5 p.m.
14th Annual Children’s Festival
Tickets: $6 in advance / $8 at the door

The Pavilion is transformed into a giant playground of fun for the young and young at heart at the 14th Annual Children’s Festival. Award-winning children’s performers educate and entertain thousands of children during four days of non-stop fun and excitement. Each artist has a unique ability to delight and inspire children with programs that not only amuse, but also communicate positive messages. The festival features music, dance, puppetry, theater, comedy, arts and crafts, games, hands-on activities, face painting and more!


Performing Arts subscriptions for the 2008 season are available beginning March 14 for $150 per seat. Subscriptions include covered reserved seats to all Houston Symphony concerts (including preferred seating for the Star-Spangled Salute and Texas Music Festival Orchestra performances), VIP on-site parking and Woodforest Bank VIP Club access for each show, as well as a subscription to The Pavilion’s CenterStage newsletter. Subscribe before May 24 and receive bonus tickets to the performing arts concert of your choice and bonus tickets to the 14th Annual Children’s Festival! Individual tickets for all performing arts events also are available beginning March 14. Tickets and subscription packages can be purchased at The Pavilion Ticket Office, located at 2005 Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands. The Ticket Office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. and on event days through the start of the show. Individual tickets also are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, including Macy’s, Fiesta, select FYE and H-E-B locations, Wherehouse Music and Media Magic, by calling 713-629-3700, or online at Most major credit cards are accepted. Some service charges may apply. For more information regarding upcoming events at The Pavilion, call 281-363-3300 or visit The Pavilion’s Web site at


The Center for the Performing Arts at The Woodlands, home of The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, offers a diverse assortment of educational and community outreach programs that touch the lives of nearly 30,000 children and their families annually throughout the Greater Houston area. These programs are an integral part of The Center’s mission to offer live performances to students regardless of race, gender, ethnicity or economic status. The Center has developed programs to support fine arts students, offer academic and social incentives, foster new audiences and partner with other community organizations for community enrichment opportunities.

Hats Off to Reading Celebration: On April 10, the Hats Off to Reading Celebration is held in conjunction with the Houston Symphony’s Tickle Me Symphony concert at The Pavilion. Hats Off to Reading is a free family literacy event sponsored by the Reading Odyssey Committee, a community coalition that encourages students to develop a lifelong love of reading. Children can take home a free book and participate in literacy-based activities such as visiting with storybook characters, a book walk, hat making, bookmark crafts and face painting. The event takes place from 5:30 – 6:45 p.m. in The Pavilion’s Event Tent, with pre-concert activities in the North Plaza beginning at 6:30 p.m. Reading Odyssey is a partnership between the Montgomery County Memorial Library System, Conroe ISD librarians, St. Anthony of Padua Catholic School Library, Chick-fil-A, Scholastic Books and The Pavilion.

Fine Arts Education Day - A David Dewhurst Symphony Explorer Concert featuring the Houston Symphony: On May 28, approximately 4,000 students are slated to attend Fine Arts Education Day, a program created for Conroe ISD fourth grade students to experience orchestral music and learn about the various instruments in both band and orchestra. The purpose of the program is to expose students to music before they enter fifth grade and have to choose an elective, thus fostering the performing arts. For the first time ever, the program features the Houston Symphony. This program, offered for free to students, is produced in conjunction with Conroe ISD.

Musical Scores: One of The Pavilion’s signature educational programs, Musical Scores primarily serves “at-risk” middle school students who earn the opportunity to attend a special event and concert at The Pavilion by displaying model behavior and achieving specific scholastic goals. Administered by teachers and counselors from schools throughout the Greater Houston area, students are rewarded when they reach their goal or “musical score.” They are designated as Super Achievers and are treated to a free performance, t-shirt and lunch at The Pavilion. Approximately 4,700 students are scheduled to attend Musical Scores May 6.

The Pavilion also offers several other community outreach programs and activities throughout the year. These programs include Pavilion Talk, informative pre-concert discussions led by noted music scholar and college professor Ira J. Black; Young Talent Spotlight, an effort to encourage the artists of tomorrow by exposing them to the joy of performing in front of a live audience; and Fine Arts Scholarships, awarded through The Pavilion Partners to high school seniors and university students majoring in Fine Arts.

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The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion's
2008 Performing Arts Season is generously sponsored by:

Community Associations of The Woodlands
Houston Community Newspapers
Mosquito Nix
The Wortham Foundation
The Pavilion Partners
Continental Airlines, official airline of
The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

Performing Arts Season Generously Sponsored By

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | The Howard Hughes Company Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Texas Children's Hospital Sponsors | The Wortham Foundation Sponsors | Woodlands Township Sponsors | Pavilion Partners Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Aramark Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Sewell

Live Nation Venue Sponsors

Sponsors | Live Nation Sponsors / Huntsman Sponsors | Pepsi Sponsors | Woodforest Naitonal Bank Sponsors | Xfinity Sponsors | Citi Sponsors | Bud Light Sponsors | Saint Arnold Brewing Company Sponsors | Nissan