Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Miles from the Mainstream
D. R. ZUKERMAN, proprietor

LPR Proposes A National Fourth of July Concert Program

March 19, 2021 --

A few years ago, LPR had an idea about a national July 4 concert, linking cities, towns and villages to a single venue. But as a song in the musical Kismet says, having got the idea, LPR then went to sleep. 

March 8, LPR watched a video of the final performance of the 2013 BBC Proms and, lo and behold, there appeared on screen a notice that this concert was linked for coordinated sing-along purpose to several British towns and cities. LPR's idea had been pre-empted, several years before it got the notion. And right after watching that video, LPR googled some more and brought up the Boston Pops July 4, 1977 concert, conducted by the great Arthur Fiedler, at the Hatch Memorial Shell, on the Boston side of the Charles River.   

Look at those joyful people attending this free, open-air concert 44 years ago.  Yes, the young people who were then in their teens, are now in their 60's, those who were in their mid-20's are now in their early 70's and so on.  Yet, isn't the Americana spirit of 1977  palpable, emerging  from the video of that concert?

The Fourth of July is four months off, and we probably don't have time to organize a national July Fourth concert  as here envisioned, this year (with separate fireworks at all the concert venues from sea to shining sea.)  Still, LPR would like its American visitors to start talking about  a national July 4 concert,  set up on the grass of tens, even hundreds  of American localities, with millions of people watching the central orchestra, as, 44 years ago, an estimated 300,000 people attended  the July 4, 1977  Boston Pops free, outdoor concert, under the baton of Maestro Fiedler marking his 50th year with the Pops.  

LPR thinks it would be fitting that the orchestra sending its American sound from sea to shining sea would be the John Wilson Orchestra, whose selections would include the Sousa marches so dear to Maestro Fiedler.

LPR believes that at this time, no orchestra is the equal of the John Wilson Orchestra in bringing the Uniquely American sound of Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops to audiences in the United Kingdom.  How fitting it would be that Maestro Wilson bring his American sound to these shores.

Most of the music on this video starts at 14.12.  Before that mark, there is some documentary material on Fiedler and the Boston Pops.  The second part of the program includes sing-along lyrics of old American tunes!  A national Fourth of July program would certainly include sing-along lyrics on leaflets and jumbotron screens for synchronized singing.
Does anyone doubt that we need to do something to reverse the self-destructive polarization that is shredding our great country?  The American symphonic sounds of the John Wilson Orchestra, the great love of American music by the people of the United Kingdom, is evidence that there is a unifying spirit in music.  Of a July Fourth as soon as practicable, let the hills  and valleys and seashores and riverbanks be alive with, yes, "the sound of music."