WINONA LAKE — Continuing its long-standing tradition, the Wagon Wheel Symphony of the Lakes will present a free, full-length patriotic “Salute to America” concert at Tabernacle Field in Winona Lake, across from the Boathouse, at 8 p.m. Saturday, July 3, just preceding the town’s fireworks display. The same free concert will be presented a week earlier, at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, June 27, at Oakwood Resort on Lake Wawasee.
Concert-goers are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets to enjoy the music on the lawn. The concert is free and all are welcome to attend.
“Salute to America” in Winona Lake 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 Oakwood concert is sponsored by Chautauqua-Wawasee.
The first half of the program will include Charles Ives; “Variations on America,’ Sousa’s “Washington Post March,” and the ever-popular Armed Forces Salute. The second half includes not only patriotic numbers but also a suite of six numbers from the musical “Hamilton.”
Dr. Jason Thompson, who was recently named the Principal Conductor and Artistic Director of the orchestra, said, “I am thrilled to get to work with the fine musicians of the Symphony of the Lakes and bring live orchestral music to the community. We will be performing music from various genres that have been significant American contributions to music, from American greats like Charles Ives, to jazz, film, music and American musical theater. We will also be paying tribute to those who have served in the armed forces and those who have lost their lives or otherwise been affected by COVID. It’s always a great pleasure to perform for our enthusiastic audiences.”
Dr. Thompson, who teaches and leads the orchestra program at Indiana Wesleyan University, holds a Bachelor of Science in violin performance and conducting, a Master of Music in orchestral conducting, and a Doctor of Music degree in early music ensemble direction. He has conducted widely in the U.S. and Mexico, including several recent concerts by the Fort Wayne Philharmonic Orchestra.
“Salute to America” begins at 7:30 p.m. at Oakwood and at 8 p.m. in Winona Lake. The Winona Lake program will be followed by the town’s traditional fireworks display fired from barges on the lake beginning at approximately 10 p.m.