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Symphony offers free Independence Day concert at the Pavilion

The Spokane Symphony will return to the Pavilion at Riverfront Park on July Fourth for an evening of “Patriotic Pops.”

“I love that the Spokane Symphony is always in the middle of creating and honoring traditions,” Music Director James Lowe said, mentioning how the symphony’s annual New Year’s Eve concert featuring Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 has become a local tradition. “And so I’m really excited about founding a new tradition with this Fourth of July concert.”

The free concert will begin at 9 p.m. Monday.

The evening will highlight works by Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein and John Williams, with a few sing-a-long moments thrown in for the audience.

“It’s full of Americana,” Lowe said.

Conducting a concert full of music celebrating one country’s independence from your own might seem odd, especially when the crowd starts singing “My Country ‘Tis of Thee,” the tune to which Lowe would’ve heard first as “God Save the Queen.”

“It’s gonna be a lot of fun,” said Lowe, who was born in Nottingham, England. “I love community celebrations where we can all come together.

“It’s also just a lovely opportunity to visit one of the best bits of Spokane at the Pavilion and celebrate together.”

Finally, a concert celebrating American composers and music wouldn’t be complete without a little jazz.

“I think it’s very easy to kind of just think about certain composers as being the American composers, but there are all kinds,” he said. “So we’ll have jazz in there as well, which is, of course, the ultimate American music – its roots are right here in the States, and I think that’s really exciting.”

The symphony will perform an arrangement of Benny Goodman’s swing classic “Sing Sing Sing.” The arrangement will feature percussionist Rick Westrick.

“I think ‘feature’ is probably not a strong enough word,” Lowe said.

The Pavilion lights will run during the performance, followed by fireworks to close out the evening.

“It’s really going to be a party – a feast for ears and eyes,” Lowe said. “And I think we all need that.”

For information, visit my.spokanecity.org and find the event calendar listing for “Fourth of July Fireworks and Concert with the Spokane Symphony.”

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