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Star-Spangled Symphony kicks off Wednesday at Conner Prairie and runs through July 5

Star Spangled Symphony at Conner Prairie – 9 a.m.

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)– Get ready to celebrate the red, white, and blue! The Fourth of July is Thursday and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra is looking to get you into the patriotic spirit.

The ISO will celebrate America’s birthday with the Star-Spangled Symphony at Conner Prairie with shows Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday.

From Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” to patriotic tributes and a fireworks finale, the event is also family-friendly. 

“It’s going to be a really beautiful music celebration of our nation’s birthday, but with plenty of things for the kids to do as well. It’s a really great way to celebrate,” James Johnson, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra CEO, said.

During each performance, ISO conductor Alfred Savia will celebrate the centennial of George Gershwin’s iconic “Rhapsody in Blue” with foremost Gershwin interpreter, pianist Kevin Cole.  

Savia told News 8 that the Star-Spangled Symphony is an event he looks forward to every year.

“I love it. You know, the times that I’m not on the Prairie doing this concert, I really miss it. I just don’t feel at home anywhere else, and it’s just such a wonderful celebration of America through its music. You know, we have a lot of traditional music.”

“We always play tunes like ‘Yankee Doodle,’ which would have been a popular song during the Revolutionary War time. We have Revolutionary War reenactors, Civil War reenactors. We have an armed forces tribute where we pay tribute through the theme songs of all the branches of the armed services and recognize people who have served.”

Savia says the symphony will perform many classic songs, including works by American composer and conductor John Philip Sousa. There will also be a chance for the crowd to join in the fun with a patriotic singalong.

“We have the traditional ‘1812 Overture’ with live cannons provided from the National Guard and fireworks after that. We play three Sousa marches in succession, ending, of course, with ‘Stars and Stripes Forever.’ So, we wait until it gets dark — we delay that to the very end of the concert when it’s finally dark — and we have the fireworks. And there’s nothing more iconic about Symphony on the Prairie’s Star-Spangled Symphony than those fireworks during the Sousa marches.”

During Star-Spangled Symphony, the ISO will pay tribute to former and current military personnel.

CEO James Johnson says it’s always a special moment.

“I love the fact that we celebrate our veterans. There’s a moment during each of these concerts where we ask members of each service branch to stand and be recognized. It’s always an incredibly moving experience,” Johnson said.

All shows begin at 8 p.m. Visit the ISO website to find more information and purchase tickets.