Various area ensembles will be performing time-tested, goose-bump-raising, love-of-country rousers this week, in observance of Independence Day, in several patriotic concerts. Here's a run-down:
Scottsdale Symphony Orchestra -- The free show is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 1, at Scottsdale Center for the Arts Amphitheater, 75th Street and Main. New artistic adviser Michael Dixon guest-conducts a program of marches and Broadway tunes, with the 1812 Overture as the finale. The evening will include raffle ticket sales. Attendees should bring blankets or chairs. For details call 480-945-8071.
Mesa Symphony Orchestra -- The ensemble, conducted by Gordon J. Johnson and joined by the Mesa Community College Sun Valley Chorus, plays "Symphony Stars and Stripes," a free family pops concert, at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, July 1, at Mesa Amphitheatre, 201 North Center in Mesa. The salute to the Armed Forces includes such selections as "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "Lullaby of Jean Baptiste" and works by Sousa. Call 480-897-2121 for more information.
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Southwest Brass Society -- "Celebrate America," the quintet's seventh annual Independence concert, is slated for 2 p.m. Sunday, July 2, at Valley Presbyterian Church, 6947 East McDonald in Paradise Valley. The bill includes Sousa, Dixieland, big band and the inevitable 1812 Overture. Tickets, available at the door, are $15, $12 for seniors, $10 for those 18 and younger. For details call 602-997-9981.
Salt River Brass -- The 27-member outfit performs on the big day itself, at 3 p.m. Tuesday, July 4, at Chandler Center for the Arts. Admission is free; tickets are available from the venue's box office (480-782-2680). The bill includes Sousa, Stephen Foster, Dvorák's New World Symphony, Olympic Fanfare by John Williams, Scott Joplin's The Entertainer and Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma!. And, of course, the 1812 Overture.
For myself, I'll probably stay in with the wife and throw on a tape of Meredith Willson's The Music Man, one of the all-time greatest, and least sentimental, odes to the American spirit.