When plans were made to celebrate the centennial of the Statue of Liberty, organizers turned to a well-known composer to write music for the occasion.
John Williams’ Liberty Fanfare saluted the restoration of the famous statue in New York Harbor whose torch was then symbolically relit by President Ronald Reagan during ceremonies in July 1986.
It’s fitting that Liberty Fanfare, composed for an anniversary, will open the Grand Rapids Symphony’s 25th anniversary season of the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops with Classical Fireworks: Salute to America.
Patriotic melodies celebrating America’s heritage are part of the show, the first of four weeks of music at Cannonsburg Ski Area. Season subscriptions offering savings of 30 percent are available for the first three weeks.
On Memorial Day weekend only, in memory of our fallen soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen, we’re offering you a 50 percent discount on lawn tickets. Click here to get half-price tickets for Classical Fireworks: Salute to America and enter code USA. Offer ends at 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 27.
The star-spangled show on Thursday and Friday, July 11-12, will include a stirring Armed Forces Salute, a medley of tunes associated with each branch of the U.S. Military, including The U.S. Field Artillery March (The Caissons Go Rolling Along), the official song of the U.S. Army; Anchors Aweigh, the official march of the U.S. Navy; and The Marine’s Hymn, adopted by the U.S. Marines, and more.
Associate Conductor John Varineau will lead the orchestra in an inspiring performance of The Stars and Stripes Forever, and a rousing version of Morton Gould’s American Salute, a set of variations to When Johnny Comes Marching Home Again, composed during the darkest days World War II to lift the spirits of Americans at home.
Concerts at Cannonsburg Ski Area conclude with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture and a pyrotechnic display. Naturally, they begin with The Star Spangled Banner, in an updated arrangement by John Williams.
The 25th anniversary of the Grand Rapids Pops’ “Symphony Under the Sky” also includes music by three of the greatest American composers of the past century.
Pianist Rich Ridenour, a Grand Rapids native now living in Florida, returns to play George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.
“Rich happens to be the first guest performer at the very first Picnic Pops 25 years ago,” said Principal Pops Conductor Bob Bernhardt, who will lead three of the four programs for the Picnic Pops.
For the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops opener, Varineau also leads the Grand Rapids Pops in Leonard Bernstein’s Overture to Candide and Aaron Copland’s Variations on a Shaker Melody.
Williams, the most famous film composer of the past 50 years, will be well-represented. In addition to Liberty Fanfare, the Grand Rapids Pops will play the main themes from Born on the Fourth of July, the 1989 film starring Tom Cruise, and from The Patriot, the 2000 film starring Mel Gibson.
Gates at Cannonsburg Ski Area open at 5:45 p.m. each night for picnicking and pre-concert entertainment, including free, kid-friendly activities such as face painting, crafts, and a musical instrument petting zoo.
Pack your own or purchase food from the grill at the Cannonsburg concession stand. Alcoholic beverages are permitted on the grounds, and parking is free for concertgoers. VIP parking is available for each concert for only $12 per vehicle.
Single tickets in advance for lawn seats for the D&W Fresh Market Picnic Pops start at $20 adults, $5 for children.
Save up to 30 percent off single-ticket prices with a 3-Concert Series subscription good for any seats to Classical Fireworks, The Beatles Tribute and Dancing in the Streets. Subscriptions for lawn seats are $42 for adults or $15 for children ages 2-18. Children younger than age 2 are admitted for free. Subscriptions for general admission chair seating are $75. Tickets for an individual reserved table seat are $144 or $1,152 to reserve an entire table for eight.
The Flexpass 6-Pack offers six lawn tickets that can be used in any combination, on any concert night, for Classical Fireworks, The Beatles Tribute of Dancing in the Streets. Flexpasses are $102 for adults. Flexpasses cannot be used for the special event in August.
Active duty, reserve and National Guard members of the U.S. Military may purchase up to two tickets for $15 each in advance for lawn seats.
All tickets are $5 more the day of the show. Call the Grand Rapids Symphony Ticket Office at (616) 454-9451 or go online to GRSymphony.org for other ticket options.