Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fanfare for the Fourth of July

Gathering in the LobbyI love a parade . . . but the opportunity to check out the Dallas Wind Symphony's Star Spangled Spectacular at the Myerson Symphony Center on a very hot Fourth of July seemed like a great alternative to being outside on a very, very hot day.

I confess that I walked across downtown at noon–about a mile–to the concert. I arrived wondering . . . what was I thinking ? ? ?

I found my seat early and a nice gentlemen sitting nearby told me about a Dallas Wind Symphony tradition, an original fanfare played in the lobby . . . so I headed back out to enjoy.

Gathering in the stairwells

The first musician arrives

I could see people gathering in the open spaces in the lobby and on the stairwell, even behind the music stands. Before long musicians began to appear. I would learn later that each Fanfare is an original composed by one of the Symphony musicians.

I wasn't the only one taking photos

I wasn't the only one taking photos. This drummer was taking photos of the crowd with his cellphone. He's one of the Hellcats from the US Military Academy at West Point. Before long all the musicians arrived and were in place.

The Fanfare begins

And the Fanfare began. It was a very cool way to begin a concert experience. The Dallas Wind Symphony has a fun energy–they even have an official tamale. And they put together a wonderful program.

DSCN3311.JPG During the Fanfare

After the fanfare, the crowd went inside and the "spectacular" officially began with the National Anthem. Imagine a large symphony hall filled with people singing the national anthem: it was incredibly moving. The rest of the program was chock full of military tributes, summer references and a dash of Texas. There was audience participation and the closest thing to fireworks you can imagine inside a concert hall.

Hellcats performing on stage

The Hellcats marched onto the stage and provided the next best thing to a parade. Later, they returned and performed with the Wind Symphony.
Hellcats join the Dallas Wind Symphony

Walking home after the performanceAfterward the concert, yes , I walked the mile across downtown back home again. I confess that I took my time, staying in the shade as much as possible and I stopped on the way and bought ice cream.

Most of the people attending the concert were dressed like these patrons. The sea of red, white and blue in the audience just added to that 4th of July feeling, like the hot dogs they were serving in the lobby. I think this event could easily become a Dallas Independence Day tradition for me.

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