Concerts in the Grove return to CSULB

The third concert in the series saw more than 300 guests Saturday.

Concerts in the Grove return to CSULB

Sara Berkson

The Emperors perform during the Concerts at the Grove on August 3.

Throughout this summer, the Soroptimist House is filling with the smell of picnic dinners and the sounds of laughter and oldies cover songs.

More than 300 guests at the Soroptimist House reconnected with old friends on Saturday as they jammed out to familiar hit songs from the 1950s, 60s and 70s as performed by The Emperors.

The Emperors, who have performed alongside acts like The Rolling Stones and The Righteous Brothers, played at the third event of a four-concert series called “Concerts in the Grove,” hosted by the Cal State Long Beach Alumni Association.

Guests started filing in at 6 p.m. with picnic baskets in hand as they were ushered to their seats by volunteers. Attendees paid $30 for reserved seating and had the option of bringing in their own picnic dinner or preordering one for $15.

Among the attendees were Mike and Arline Walter, whom the Walter Pyramid is named after. Alumni Programs Coordinator Janet Gonzales said the couple has been known to come out for every concert.

Emcee Ken Miller and volunteers encouraged the concert attendees to purchase raffle tickets for a chance to win one of 20 prizes donated by local establishments, such as the Aquarium of the Pacific, Medieval Times and the Anaheim Marriott.

Raffle ticket sales were estimated at $2,300, according to Gonzalez.

“[All] ticket proceeds go back to the university, especially to alumni programs such as the Alumni Grants [Program] which offers campus grants and supports student excellence,” Gonzales said.

By 7:30 p.m., The Emperors began to play an array of classic songs that were a hit with the crowd. The band has been performing at Concerts in the Grove events for four consecutive years, according to Gonzalez.

Senior communication studies major Christopher Gutierrez attended the event and said he likes The Emperors.

“[The Emperors] maintain that classic rock feel,” Gutierrez said. “I think it was a nice caveat for the evening that some band members are [alumni].”

Gutierrez said he thinks the Soroptimist House is a great setting for concerts and is “a hidden gem” on campus.

“Concerts in the Grove” celebrates its 37th year of entertainment and connecting people to CSULB.

“Concerts [in the Grove] strive to keep everything alumni or Long Beach local,” Gonzales said. “Every year there’s a concert, there’s always a great turnout.”

The last concert of the season on Aug. 17 is sold out.