By SUE SUCHYTA
DEARBORN – From the rockets red glare to the music filling the air, The Henry Ford’s Salute to America Independence Day programing with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra continued its time-honored tradition.
The four-day event, held June 30 through July 3 at Greenfield Village, featured musical performances throughout the venue, culminating in the DSO concert on the main stage near the Village Green, followed by fireworks.
Among the featured groups performing throughout the village were the First Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps, the DSO Youth Jazz Band at the Detroit Central Market, fiddler J.J. Przewozniak at the Ford Home, the Dodworth Saxhorn Band near the original Ford Motor Co. Building and Ragtime piano music played by Taslimah Bey near the Edison statue.
Ranka Mulkern on the hammered dulcimer and Neil Woodward on the fiddle were featured on the porch of the Eagle Tavern, while the North Star Chorale performed traditional gospel music on the main stage by the Town Hall.
Picks and Sticks played traditional string band music on the porch of the Chapman Home, while the Rev. Robert Jones performed traditional blues music on the porch of the Mattox Home.
The Villager Cruisers set toes tapping with a ’50s medley near the covered bridge.
The DSO, the main musical draw, did not disappoint, playing a wide variety of music for appreciative attendees, opening with Francis Scott Key’s “The Star-Spangled Banner,” and segueing into George Gershwin’s “Strike Up the Band.”
Conducted by Nicholas Hersh, the DSO program included a tribute to 90-year-old composer John Williams by playing his work, “The Cowboys Overture.”
“America the Beautiful,” composed by Samuel Augustus Ward, with lyrics by Katherine Lee Bates, had some audience members singing along.
America’s COVID-19 pandemic medical heroes and first responders were honored with Valerie Coleman’s “Seven O’Clock Shout,” and the audience, on cue, replicated the shouts and cheers of the original New Yorkers who celebrated their heroes when most others were in quarantine.
The first half of the concert concluded with an Armed Forces Salute, featuring the anthems of the Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force and Navy, with veterans encouraged to stand during their respective song.
After intermission, James P. Johnson’s “The Charleston” set toes tapping, followed by John Williams’ “A Prayer for Peace,” dedicated to those in Ukraine.
Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” with the live canon fire that The Henry Ford so magnificently supplies, led into the closing fireworks, with musicians sneaking peeks at the pyrotechnics as they played.
For information about more summer events at The Henry Ford, go to thf.org.