Fired Up For the Fourth
Patriotic music, fireworks show on tap for annual Independence Day event

From Staff Reports

Bombs will be bursting in air Saturday night at the 14th Annual Independence Day Concert and Fireworks Show in downtown Sulphur Springs. The concert, underwritten by Alliance Bank, begins at 7:45 p.m., with the fireworks show, sponsored by Sulphur Springs Vision Center, beginning as night falls.
File Photo

June 29, 2005 - The stirring rhythms of traditional patriotic melodies such as “The Stars and Stripes Forever” will be heard Saturday night — as they are every year — as the 14th annual Independence Day concert is performed on the downtown square, but they’ll share the bill with some more offbeat selections.

The program includes “Satchmo,” a tribute to Louie Armstrong, a medley from Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” “Orange Blossom Special” and a medley from “The Empire Strikes Back.”

“A certain chunk of every Independence Day concert should be the great old patriotic songs,” said Douglas Bakenhus, conductor of Northeast Texas Symphony Orchestra. “And we will stick with that formula.

“At the same time, we see this concert as an opportunity to explore some other kinds of music. It’s more fun for the audience, and for the musicians,” he said.

An ensemble made up of approximately half of the North East Texas Choral Society will join with the orchestra in the concert, which begins at 7:45 p.m. when Hopkins County veterans march onto the Square. It will conclude with John Philip Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Each year as the Sousa piece is performed, a sky-filling fireworks show begins. The fireworks are underwritten by Sulphur Springs Vision Center Eye Clinic and Dr. Jeff Russell, a Dallas eye surgeon associated with the vision center. Major support for the music half of the program comes from Alliance Bank.

“These generous gifts literally make the concert and fireworks show possible,” said Tom Stewart, president of the Symphony League. “There are large costs involved in an evening of entertainment like this, and the league would not be able to put on the show without some very significant aid.”

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