“If you’re proud to be an American,” then join country music superstar Lee Greenwood when he makes his debut with Pacific Symphony on Sept. 8 at Pacific Amphitheatre. This first-ever major concert and community event called “Hail to the Heroes,” salutes veterans, active military duty personnel and first responders. Award-winning actor Gary Sinise welcomes the audience in a pre-recorded video message honoring our nation’s incredible defenders. In addition to headliner Lee Greenwood, the concert features a fantastic lineup of patriotic and orchestral favorites, from “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “God Bless America,” to themes by John Williams. The Symphony joins forces with Pacific Chorale to honor those who serve and keep our country safe. Sharing podium duties will be Music Director Carl St.Clair, Pacific Chorale’s Artistic Director Robert Istad and guest conductor Col. Arnald Gabriel, age 94, who was a gunner on D-Day in Normandy and for over two decades served as the commander and conductor of the United States Air Force Band and United States Air Force Symphony Orchestra. The evening’s master of ceremonies is James P. Connolly, who served as a Marine based at Camp Pendleton, and is currently one of the most popular comedians on Sirius XM Comedy. Also appearing will be 40s-style vocalists, The Swing Dolls and Bugle Boys. Tickets start at $25, but are free for active-duty military, veterans and first responders! Parking at Pacific Amphitheatre is free. Call Pacific Symphony’s box office (714) 755-5799 (Mon to Fri, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.) or go to https://www.PacificSymphony.org/Heroes.
Before the evening concert at 7:30 p.m., Plaza Pacifica springs to life with picnicking, live music, and fun. Starting at 5:30 p.m. Camp Pendleton’s First Marine Division Band will perform patriotic music. Other pre-concert festivities include activities involving local community partners:
- Family-friendly activities presented by Bob Hope USO
- Free handheld U.S. flag handed out to all attendees, courtesy of The Exchange Club of Irvine
- Special exhibition presented by The War and Society Program at Chapman University
- Heroes Hall Veterans Museum tours
- “Meet a Veteran” booth sponsored by the Freedom Committee of Orange County
- Veteran’s resource fair featuring VA Long Beach Healthcare System and Veterans Upward Bound program at Santa Ana College
WILLIAMS: Liberty Fanfare
STEFFE: “Battle Hymn of the Republic”
VARIOUS: Armed Forces Salute
TRADITIONAL: “Amazing Grace”
VARIOUS: “Wartime Heroes” Medley
WILLIAMS: “Summon the Heroes” (NBC Olympic Games Theme)
WILLIAMS: “Hymn to the Fallen” from “Saving Private Ryan” / “Taps”
VARIOUS: The Music of Lee Greenwood
WARD: “America the Beautiful”
BERLIN: “God Bless America”
Lee Greenwood is an icon in country music, with more than 30 albums to his credit. Greenwood has won numerous industry awards including Male Vocalist of the year for the Academy of Country Music in 1983, two Male Vocalist of the Year awards from the Country Music Association (1983 & 1984), and a Grammy for Top Male Vocal Performance in 1985 for “I.O.U.” He also won CMA Song of the Year in 1985 for writing “God Bless the USA.” The song, “God Bless the USA” has been voted the most recognizable patriotic song in America. The singer knows first-hand what it’s like to have loved ones fighting for the freedom of all Americans, as his father served in the Navy & the Merchant Marine Academy in WWII. “USA” is now part of the film for the Department of Homeland Security shown when swearing in new citizens to the United States
Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair since 1990, is the largest orchestra formed in the U.S. in the last 50 years. Founded in 1978, the Symphony is not only a fixture of musical life in Southern California, but also is recognized as an outstanding ensemble making strides on both the national and international scenes. In April 2018, Pacific Symphony made its debut at Carnegie Hall, where it was invited to perform as part of a yearlong celebration of composer Philip Glass’s 80th birthday. That same year, the Symphony made its first-ever tour to China, with performances in five cities, including Shanghai and Beijing. In Orange County, the orchestra presents more than 100 concerts and events each year and a rich array of education and community engagement programs, reaching more than 300,000 residents of all ages. The Symphony has been recognized with multiple ASCAP Awards for Adventurous Programming and included among the country’s five most innovative orchestras by the League of American Orchestras. The Symphony’s education and community engagement activities have also been recognized by the League, as well as the National Endowment for the Arts.
Founded in 1968, Pacific Chorale is internationally recognized for exceptional artistic expression, stimulating American-focused programming and influential education programs. Under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert Istad, Pacific Chorale presents a substantial performance season of its own at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts and is sought regularly to perform with the nation’s leading symphonies. Pacific Chorale is composed of 140 professional and volunteer singers. In addition to its longstanding partnership with Pacific Symphony, the Chorale has performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic in Disney Hall on numerous occasions. Other noted collaborations include the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Boston Symphony, the National Symphony, and the Long Beach, Pasadena, Riverside and San Diego symphonies. The Chorale have toured extensively in Europe, South America and Asia, performing in London, Paris, Belgium, Germany, Estonia, Russia, Spain, Brazil, Argentina, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing and Hong Kong and collaborating with the London Symphony, L’Orchestre Lamoureux of Paris, the National Orchestra of Belgium, the China National Symphony, the Hong Kong Sinfonietta, the Estonian National Symphony, and the Orquesta Sinfonica Nacional of Argentina.
Artists, programs, prices and dates are subject to change.
This article was released by the Pacific Symphony.