Not to be outdone by its neighbor Marana, the Town of Oro Valley and Hiremath Family Dentistry will swing into the celebration mood when the Greater Oro Valley Arts Council hosts its Fifth Annual Independence Day Concert on July 4.

The Tucson Symphony Orchestra will highlight an evening of music, food and fireworks at Canada del Oro Riverfront Park opening at 5 p.m.

Led by conductor George Hanson, the Tucson Symphony Orchestra has been performing throughout the Southwest for more than 75 years. Hanson, who debuted with the New York Philharmonic in 2000-01, has been conducting with the TSO for eight years.

Joining the Tucson Symphony Orchestra will be the baritone voice of Charles Roe. The director of the Opera Theater at the University of Arizona, Roe has performed leading roles with symphonies and operas throughout the United States in cities such as New York, Philadelphia and Detroit.

The concert will be split into two parts starting with the TSO at 7:30 p.m.

The biggest fireworks display in the five-year history of Oro Valley's Independence Day celebrations will coincide with the concert, starting around 9 p.m. The firework display will take place from the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort, 10000 N. Oracle Road. Barring inclement weather, officials at GOVAC anticipate a capacity crowd at Riverfront Park.

"We are expecting anywhere from 5,000 to 6,000 people," Carmen Feriend, executive director of GOVAC said. "We've found that the numbers are lower in years without fireworks."

The festivities are scheduled to begin at 5:15 p.m. when the Civic Orchestra will be available to give children a chance to interact with members of the band and get hands-on experience with the instruments.

Although admission to the park is free, GOVAC is asking for donations of at least one non-perishable food item per person. Proceeds from the day's concert will go towards the Northwest Interfaith Center Food Bank, 2820 W. Ina Road.

With more than 400 volunteers, the Northwest Interfaith Center has been able to lend a hand to nearly 44,000 people in 2003 alone.

A shuttle service has been arranged by GOVAC to pick up concertgoers at Casas Church, 10801 N. La Cholla Blvd. and the Albertsons/Home Depot parking lots located on First Avenue and Oracle Road. The ride is free but riders are asked to give a $1 donation to support a local children's fund.

Parking in the parking lot at Riverfront Park will be reserved for vehicles with handicapped licenses plates or identification.

For more information about the event, call GOVAC at 797-3959.

A preview of the concert

The many sounds of music will roll across the amphitheater, the soccer fields and the softball diamonds in Oro Valley's Riverfront Park, as Musical Director George Hanson leads the Tucson Symphony Orchestra in a program of great patriotic and Broadway music on Sunday, July 4th. The "Town of Oro Valley - Hiremath Family Dentistry Independence Day Concert" will celebrate America and Broadway as presented by Greater Oro Valley Arts Council.

Selections from four great musicals, beginning with the "Overture to Candide" the most frequently played concert piece that Leonard Bernstein ever wrote, will be heard during the first half of this concert. The music of "West Side Story" will recall Stephen Sondheim's lyrics with the playing of "One Hand, One Heart" and "Maria". With Latin American dances, 'cool jive' and melting ballads Bernstein's score delights all ages.

Bernstein came under the influence of the Rodgers & Hammerstein 'book' musical, which he then described as the true American form of opera. The program includes the 'Soliloquy' from "Carousel", which has been called Rodgers and Hammerstein's greatest wedding of music and words. Fathers in the audience will recognize themselves as guest soloist and baritone Charles Roe sings the words, "my little girl, pink & white as peaches and cream is she, my little girl gets hungry every night and she comes home to me."

Music from "Les Miserables," which opened in New York in 1987, ranges from the rousing 'Do you Hear the People Sing?' to the haunting 'On My Own' and 'Bring Him Home.' This musical treatment of Victor Hugo's classic novel continues to be performed the world over. A salute to George M. Cohan will conclude the first half of the concert.

After intermission, flags will continue to wave as the orchestra plays 'Washington Post March' with which Sousa had many triumphs in European cities. Baritone Charles Roe will return to sing Aaron Copland's four 'Old American Songs' starting with the beautiful 'Simple Gifts.' Colonel Bogey March will be a favorite of the audience as they whistle along and join in the singing of 'America the Beautiful'

The concert's finale will again be the playing of the '1812 Overture.', which recalls Napoleon's defeat at Moscow. The exciting concluding bars of Tchaikovsky's great work will be coordinated with the fireworks display from the Hilton Tucson El Conquistador Golf & Tennis Resort.

A Kids Instrument Petting Zoo will feature Tucson Civic Orchestra musicians from 5:15 to 6:30 p.m. helping children make music on a variety of instruments. Youngsters who submit their colorings of "The Tooth 'n the Hat" flyer to the GOVAC information booth will receive a coupon for a cookie from The Great Harvest Bread Company.

Bring your folding chairs and blankets and enjoy fun food by "Oro Valley Fast Pitch Softball" and a variety of cooling drinks from the Rotary Club. Kids will receive flags from the North Pima County Chamber of Commerce. Parking at the park is limited to those cars with disabled plates or proper disabled driver signage. Buses will start running at 5 p.m. from offsite pickup points; the Home Depot lot at First and Oracle plus the large lot at Casas Adobes Baptist Church to be entered from Lambert just west of La Cholla. Buses will not be stopping at Fry's parking lot.

story submitted by Bob Weede

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