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Bowling 'em over

Burbank’s annual Fourth of July concert a mix of American music and classic rock.

May 30, 2007

The Leader Burbank's annual Fourth of July concert a mix of symphonic music and classic rock.Organizers are looking to enhance the entertainment already scheduled for the city of Burbank's Fourth of July celebration after city officials announced Saturday the fireworks show was canceled because of fire danger.

The entertainment team is seeking an alternative patriotic enhancement to replace the fireworks show, said Garth Nelson, the city's deputy director-recreation services.

"Our goal is to present the best Fourth of July show for families to celebrate the holiday — that's our commitment," he said.

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Already scheduled is an evening of show tunes, movie scores and patriotic songs, mixed with classic rock, he said.

This year's event, "A Star Spangled Salute to America," will feature the Burbank Philharmonic Orchestra and classic rock group The Answer, Nelson said.

"The Burbank Philharmonic will perform music of great American composers, and our hope is to create a Boston Pops-type Americana program," Nelson said.

In the past, the headliner has been a big band orchestra, but this year, city organizers thought the classic Fourth of July program was the way to go, especially because there is a symphony in town that can play that kind of music, he said.

This is the 14th year the philharmonic has performed at the Starlight Bowl, but the first time it will play at the Fourth of July show, and it's an honor, said Steven Kerstein, music director and conductor for the Burbank Philharmonic.

"The board of directors and musicians are honored to be part of this great American celebration and we are going to be performing great American music," he said.

Some of the great American composers being featured in the performance are George Gershwin and Leonard Bernstein.

"We will be playing George Gershwin's 'Rhapsody in Blue' with internationally renowned pianist Anli Tong as guest soloist," he said.

Excerpts from Bernstein's "West Side Story" will showcase the talents of guest tenor Daniel Chaney, featured soloist with the Los Angeles Master Chorale.

He will also perform a selection of patriotic songs with the orchestra.

Kerstein has included music from the big band era on the program and the evening will conclude with marches by John Philip Sousa and music from the movies, including John Williams' score to "Star Wars."

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