Before the night’s fireworks and festivities, Jason Weintraub invites all Chautauquans to join him and the Chautauqua Community Band for their 23rd annual Independence Day Concert.
The band performs at 12:15 p.m. today on Bestor Plaza. Weintraub calls it a “very patriotic concert,” featuring three pieces by American composer John Philip Sousa, who is best known for his military marches.
Students from the Music School Festival Orchestra, musicians from the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra, Chautauqua community members and local musicians from the grounds all make up the Community Band. They rehearsed only once before putting together their concert.
Highlights include two marches by Sousa, “El Capitan” and “The Washington Post.” Children ages 2 to 6 are invited to march along as older children ages 7 to 10 conduct the band. There will also be a sing-along led by Jennifer Dilley. Audience members are invited to lend their voices to the band as they play Americana favorites: “In the Good Old Summertime,” “America,” “America the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”
“Community, family and tradition are the important elements,” Weintraub said of the concert. “The July Fourth week at Chautauqua has always been an important family time, and I am very proud that the Chautauqua Community Band is a part of that family tradition.”
Although there is open seating on Bestor Plaza, Chautauquans will want to arrive early to grab the best patch of grass. If it looks like rain, the concert will be moved to the Amphitheater.