Posts Tagged 'Fourth of July'

Sparks fly a day early with Chafetz, Ragusa and the CSO

Sparks fly a day early with Chafetz, Ragusa and the CSO

On July 3, the sound of 15,000 paper bags popping like cannons in the Amphitheater will rival the fireworks on July Fourth — not to mention the vocal cords of fiery Broadway soprano Michele Ragusa belting out “Don’t Rain on My Parade.”

The Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra’s annual Independence Day Celebration concert will rip-roar to life at 8 p.m. tonight. Featuring CSO timpanist Stuart Chafetz as the guest conductor for the 10th consecutive year, the concert will also spotlight Ragusa on several Broadway selections, and the audience will play its traditional role as the cannons in Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture.”

Chafetz buys the paper bags himself, after testing which size creates the best sound.

“They’re No. 4 bags — that’s the number. No. 5 is too heavy, No. 3 is not quite the right sound,” Chafetz said. “There I was (in Sam’s Club) practicing, trying the different bags, blowing them up and popping them to hear the kind of sound.”

Legion Band to kick off Fourth celebrations

Legion Band to kick off Fourth celebrations

On Sunday at 2:30 p.m., the Amphitheater will resound with American favorites as the American Legion Band of the Tonawandas, Post 264, performs its technically challenging and crowd-rousing marches, dances and show tunes.

The American Legion Band will play patriotic songs to start the Fourth of July celebrations, and display the breadth of their repertoire with classics from Gershwin and Tchaikovsky.

“We try to program for family entertainment,” said David Abrahamian, the band’s president.

There will be a little something for everyone.

Sacred Song to feature patriotism, guest saxophonist

Sacred Song to feature patriotism, guest saxophonist

With the Fourth of July around the corner, Sunday’s 8 p.m. Sacred Song Service will focus on American patriotism that has roots deeper than red, white and blue.

Church and state are often separated in society and in worship, but the meeting of the two can be wonderful, said Jared Jacobsen, Chautauqua organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music. The service is titled “O beautiful for patriot dream that sees beyond the years” and will feature patriotic songs that are meaningful and thought-provoking.

“This particular year, when we’re in an election year and the whole country is so polarized in mostly unhelpful ways,” Jacobsen said, “I wanted to step back a little bit and go into our roots as a country and try to figure out a way to help us understand that being American and being a person of faith is not necessarily mutually exclusive.”

Religion department plans ‘humble celebration of growing openness’ for Fourth

Religion department plans ‘humble celebration of growing openness’ for Fourth

Joan Brown Campbell labors over the prayers she writes for the service on the Fourth of July.

“Joan probably spends more time working on her prayers for the Fourth of July weekend than any other day of the year,” said Jared Jacobsen, organist and coordinator of worship and sacred music.

Actually, Campbell and Jacobsen work well in advance to plan the Fourth of July services.

A performance that really pops

A performance that really pops

Get your paper bags ready and watch for the cue — tonight is your chance to perform with the Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra as one of 5,000 cannons in the “1812 Overture.” The Independence Day pops concert takes place at 8 p.m. tonight in the Amphitheater.

The fun doesn’t stop when the bags are popped. Stuart Chafetz, guest conductor and CSO principal timpanist, promises a program full of music the whole family will enjoy. From patriotic tunes and festive symphonic pieces to music from the stage and screen, tonight’s concert will be a mix of new music and Chautauquan traditions.

Americana in the plaza

Americana in the plaza

Dust off your tuba or your tenor sax — Uncle Weintraub wants you!

The Chautauqua Community Band welcomes all instrumentalists for its Independence Day concert, which takes place at 12:15 p.m. today on Bestor Plaza.

Director Jason Weintraub started the all-inclusive group 21 years ago. It has grown from a few dozen members into a group of more than 70 people of all ages and experience levels.