Stars and Stripes Forever!

Where to get your patriotic tuneage this Independence Day

You can't spell Sousa without USA!
You can't spell Sousa without USA!

Sure, sure, the fireworks are what everyone wants to hear about on the Fourth, but what good's all that rockets' red glare and bombs bursting in air without John Stafford Smith's melody and Francis Scott Key's lyrics to swell our hearts with patriotic pride? What kind of Independence Day would it be without a rousing fix of patriotic music?

With that in mind, we've assembled a list of concerts over the next two days where you can be assured of hearing a full complement of brass blasting out some John Phillip Sousa marches, a cannonade booming the 1812 Overture, and a full-throated chorus of our National Anthem.

Austin Symphony Orchestra
Sat., July 4, 8:30pm, Vic Mathias Shores (formerly Auditorium Shores)
Our professional symphony makes its long-awaited return to the shores of Lady Bird Lake for this 39th edition of its tradition Fourth of July concert. Of course, it wouldn't be an Independence Day concert without "The Star-Spangled Banner" (here as arranged by Sousa and Walter Damrosch), and it's a given that ASO will trot out the cannons for Pytor Tchaikovsky's Overture 1812. Sousa is also well represented by "Washington Post March," "Fairest of the Fair," "Hands Across the Sea," and "The Stars and Stripes Forever." The rest of the 2015 program includes a military salute via Jeff Tyzik's Armed Forces Song Medley; a jaunt out West through music from Alfred Newman's score for the film How the West Was Won, Bruce Broughton's "Themes from Silverado," Sunset and Cloudburst from Ferde Grofé's classic Grand Canyon Suite”; and Jacob Wohleb's Luminescence, one of the winning entries in ASO’s 5th Annual Texas Young Composers Competition.

Austin Civic Wind Ensemble
Friday July 3, 7pm
St. Louis King of France Catholic Church, 7601 Burnet

Sat., July 4, 10:30am
Millwood picnic at Balcones Community Park

Sat., July 4, 8:15pm
Bar K Park Music Stage, Lago Vista

The Austin Civic Wind Ensemble's 70 musicians and conductor Robert Laguna are staying exceptionally busy this week, performing three concerts in two days. You can catch them on Independence Eve at St. Louis King of France Catholic Church, where their version of the 1812 Overture will be accompanied by pipe organ. Then the ACWE will hit Balcones Community Park on Saturday morning and Lago Vista Saturday evening. Their program promises Roland F. Seitz's "Brooke's Chicago Marine Band March," E. E. Bagley's "National Emblem March," orchestral arrangements of the folk song "The Girl I Left Behind Me" and the bluegrass standard "My Cora is Gone," Pierre La Plante's American Riversongs, Arthur Frackenpohl's Variations for Tuba and Winds, Carmen Dragon's arrangement of "America the Beautiful," and a treasure trove of Sousa: his arrangement of "The Star-Spangled Banner," as well as his "Easter Monday on the White House Lawn," "El Capitan March," "Washington Post March," "Liberty Bell March," "Semper Fidelis March," and of course, "Stars and Stripes Forever."

Austin Symphonic Band
Bastrop Patriotic Festival
Fri., July 3, 8pm
Fisherman’s Park, Bastrop 
 July 4th Frontier Days Celebration
Sat., July 4, 8pm
Old Settlers’ Park, Round Rock

The ASB can be heard Friday night in Bastrop and Saturday night in Round Rock. The concert program leads the way with Sousa, naturally, who's represented by "The Star Spangled Banner," "Washington Post March," "Semper Fidelis March," and – wait for it – "Stars & Stripes Forever." The program also includes Armed Forces Salute, Claude T. Smith's Spirit of Texas, Thomas Knox's American Pageant (a medley of "America," "Yankee Doodle," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Dixie," "America the Beautiful," and "Columbia the Gem of the Ocean"), Henry Fillmore's "Americans We," Wilhelm Zehle's "Trafalgar March," A Leroy Anderson Portrait (a medley of "Serenata," "The Syncopated Clock," "Blue Tango," and "Bugler's Holiday"), Tribute to Irving Berlin, and the best tribute to marching bands ever, Meredith Willson's "76 Trombones."

Starlight Symphony Orchestra
Sat., July 4, 8:30pm,
Hays CISD Performing Arts Center, 979 Kohler’s Crossing, Kyle
The community orchestra affiliated with the Wimberley Players, led by Dr. David Oertel, will perform for the city of Kyle's Star-Spangled Celebration. The concert program was unavailable at press time.

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Fourth of July, Austin Symphony, Austin Civic Wind Ensemble, Austin Symphonic Band, Starlight Symphony Orchestra

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