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When the sun goes down and the stars look like grains of sand on black velvet, UCF's Symphony Orchestra will bring an audience together through a memorable musical experience.

Symphony Under the Stars is one of UCF's longest-lasting traditions, running annually for more than 25 years, and will take place in the Pegasus Ballroom Thursday at 8 p.m.

The concert is free to the public, and will consist of style selections such as "Mars" by Gustav Holst and the "Star Wars Suite."

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The UCF Music Department and Campus Activities Board co-sponsor the musical event to draw thousands of people to a night like no other.

Blake Anderson, student director for CAB, said the event will also consist of dancing performances for an estimated audience of 1,000 people.

"We always encourage students to attend. We planned this event because it appeals to a large public within UCF, and a group of students whose interests are not always attended to," said Anderson, a junior advertising-public relations major.

UCF's Orchestra has been preparing for this concert since the last week of February, under the supervision of Arthur Pranno, the director of orchestras.

Pranno said this concert will feature music from both the stage and screen.

This will be his first Symphony Under the Stars event, but from experience, he said this outdoor concert will have a wonderful, relaxed feel.

"Music is a form of communication, just as a language," he said. "It is capable of expressing an infinite amount of emotions. One should keep their minds and ears open to hear the message."

Dave Schreier, the assistant director of bands, has had a strong contribution to the event as he has been to several Symphony Under the Stars performances over the last 18 years.

"I absolutely think music can bring people together," Schreier said. "Music is a sort of universal language that most people can understand and appreciate. It's something that can be shared cross-culturally and can become a common bond."

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Rachel Stuart is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Follow her on Twitter at @RachSage or email her at RachelS@CentralFloridaFuture.com.

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