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The Knoxville Symphony’s Pilot Independence Day concert is rapidly approaching. The repertoire is power-packed and symbolic, with special guests and choir. Of course one of the best features of this concert is the crowd– it’s an amazing event for people-watching. While the first annual 4th of July concert some 28 years ago may not have celebrated the 2nd anniversary of Knoxville's 1982 World's fair, this show will tip its cap to the 30th anniversary of the Fair. Here are some of the main points.

Verdi’s Triumphal March from Aida promises to give the brass a workout. I am not sure whether there will be elephants, giraffes, etc. at our show, but I have a story that is germane to this music. We were playing Aida, back in 1998 (?) under KOC’s conductor Robert Lyall in the Civic Coliseum, a real bathtub of a place to play, but at least we could see the big screen. We had just completed the March in a rehearsal and there was a break in the action. The Operatitles had advanced to the next scene’s text, which was something like, “Oh savior of our nation, we welcome you!!” The big screen camera operator, however, had turned his focus to the spazzini, or the guys sweeping up animal poop!

Energy Express by Scott Evans will perk up the ears of those “of an age” who would remember it as the theme song to the Knoxville World’s Fair. This link has a photo montage full of priceless memories of the way our town looked 30 years ago this summer. The music also bears a strong resemblance to Help Me Rhonda.

On the second half, a suite of songs from the film Friendly Persuasion by Dimitri Tiomkin finds an interesting relevance in that maestro Richman’s father, Peter Mark Richman, starred in this 1956 film. It will also feature vocalists Natalee Louise McReynolds and Alex Temple Ward, who will be soloists in the upcoming Sweeney Todd collaboration this fall. Mr. Ward will also sing the Pledge of Allegiance, and Ms McReynolds America the Beautiful. The concert will also include marches, Civil War songs, and of course, Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture.

The concert is free and fireworks will follow.

1 year ago | | Read Full Story
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