WINONA LAKE – The Symphony of the Lakes will continue its holiday tradition with a full-length patriotic “Salute to America” concert at Tabernacle Field in Winona Lake, across from the Boathouse, at 8 p.m. on Saturday, July 4, just preceding the town’s fireworks display.
Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the music on the Tabernacle Field lawn. The concert is free and all are welcomed to attend.
“Salute to America” is jointly sponsored by The Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts, Grace College, and the Kosciusko County Community Foundation. Maestro Jason Thompson will direct the 65-piece ensemble and the repertoire will include traditional favorites including the “Armed Forces Salute,” a Sousa march, and more.
“The first half of the program,” Thompson said, “will include musical references to events we have been missing during the Covid-19 stay-at-home period.” This includes a salute to baseball, with Holcombe’s “Casey at the Bat,” a nod to Beethoven’s 250th birthday with the “Egmont Overture,” and more.
The second half, Thompson said, includes not only patriotic numbers but also Apollo 13 selections in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo mission and the recent SpaceX mission launch. A selection of Bernstein’s “West Side Story” numbers celebrates the release of the new movie directed by Steven Spielberg and conducted by Gustavo Dudamel.
Jay Michaels, executive director of the Wagon Wheel Center for the Arts which sponsors the Symphony of the Lakes, indicated that because the concert venue is so expansive, social distancing should not be a problem. “We will have hand sanitizer available,” he said, “and programs will not be handed out, but will be placed on tables by gloved personnel so concert-goers can pick up their own programs.” To help improve safety for the musicians, Michaels noted that a larger-than-usual tent has been secured this year and other measures are being taken to help ensure the safety of orchestra members.
“Salute to America” begins at 8 p.m. and will be followed by Winona Lake’s traditional fireworks display fired from barges in the lake beginning at approximately 10 p.m.
“This quarantine period has been long and very tough on people,” said Wagon Wheel board Chair Deb Bishop. “This evening should provide a welcome relief from the isolation we’ve all experienced since March.” Currently, there are no alternate plans in case of rain.