Newsroom

July 2, 2015



MEDIA CONTACTS:

Vanessa Astros
Senior Director, Communications

(713) 337-8560
vanessa.astros@houstonsymphony.org

Kristen Bennett
PR Coordinator
(713) 337-8557
kristen.bennett@houstonsymphony.org


HOUSTON SYMPHONY OFFERS THE ULTIMATE JULY 4 CELBRATION WITH LIVE PATRIOTIC MUSIC, FIREWORKS, CANNONS, AND MORE

The Star-Spangled Salute will be conducted by Steven Reineke, the Houston Symphony's Principal POPS Conductor Designate

HOUSTON (July 2, 2015)—The Houston Symphony will continue its tradition of helping Houstonians celebrate Independence Day at Miller Outdoor Theatre with its Star-Spangled Salute concert at 8:30 p.m. on July 4. The celebration, which will feature patriotic cannons and a thrilling fireworks display, will be directed by Steven Reineke, Principal POPS Conductor Designate. 

The dynamic program will have the orchestra performing patriotic favorites both old and new, from John Phillip Sousa’s The National Game and Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture to film composer John Williams’ Liberty Fanfare, a medley to honor those who serve in the U.S. military and two original pieces by Reineke himself.

The Symphony will welcome vocalist Christopher Johnstone to the stage several times throughout the celebration. A conservatory-trained actor and opera singer, Johnstone has performed at Carnegie Hall, on Capitol Hill, and with orchestras in Cincinnati, Toronto, Long Beach, Indianapolis, Grand Rapids, Boston, New Mexico, and Houston. He has also appeared on television in popular shows such as “The Young and the Restless,” “All My Children” and “Watch What Happens Live.”

Also new this year is the participation of special guest and former sportscaster Chester Pitts, who will join the Symphony to narrate Casey at the Bat, one of the best-known and most iconic poems in American literature. The poem is about an arrogant baseball player who is very confident about winning the game and epically fails. The orchestra will perform the musical setting of this famous baseball poem composed and arranged nearly two decades ago by Reineke.

Pitts, who is a former oboist and original Houston Texans football player, is active in several Houston organizations and is the founder of the Chester Pitts Charitable Foundation, which supports the development of youth through artistic and cultural programs.

The Star-Spangled Salute will be a “tweetcert,” which allows audiences to further connect and engage with the music, interact with other users, and post their comments and questions in real time via Twitter. The Houston Symphony will live-tweet program notes and fun facts about the music from its Twitter handle, @HouSymphony, with the hashtag #HSSummer during the concert.

The concert will be broadcast live from Houston Public Media’s Classical 91.7.
Admission to the celebration is free, but tickets are required for the covered seated area. Tickets are available at the Miller Theatre Box Office the day of the performance between 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Any remaining tickets are released one hour before the performance time. Visit www.milleroutdoortheatre.com for more information.

The concert will bring an end to the 2015 Summer Symphony Nights series, sponsored by ExxonMobil. The fireworks display is generously provided by the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board.

About Christopher Johnstone

Christopher Johnstone is known on Broadway for his unparalleled vocal versatility. He is equally at home in contemporary and classic music theater, opera and classical music. He recently played the role of Magaldi on the first National Broadway Tour of Evita, which played at Houston’s Hobby Center last year.

Johnstone trained as an actor and opera singer at the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, Tanglewood Music Center, The Glimmerglass Festival Young American Artist Program and The Oberlin in Italy Program.

He was part of the seven-time, Tony Award-winning Lincoln Center production of South Pacific that toured the United States and Canada. Reprising the role of Lt. Cable at Ogunquit Playhouse landed him a Best Actor nomination for Broadway World Boston.

His concerts span from Carnegie Hall to Capitol Hill. A guest soloist with some of the nation’s top orchestras, opera companies and dance groups, he was last heard with the Houston Symphony alongside Rachel York and Christiane Noll in 100 Years of Broadway.

This summer he plays the role of Enjolras in Les Misérables at the Arrow Rock Lyceum Theater.

While the stage is his first love, Johnstone has also appeared on television, including: The Young and the Restless, All My Children, Watch What Happens Live! and Personal Justice. He has modeled for clients such as Katy Perry, Ralph Lauren, DETAILS magazine, Chanel and Hart Schaffner Marx.

About Houston Symphony

During the 2014-15 season, the Houston Symphony enters its second century as one of America’s leading orchestras with a full complement of concert, community, education, touring and recording activities. This season also marks the inaugural year for new Music Director Andrés Orozco- Estrada. The Houston Symphony is one of the oldest performing arts organizations in Texas whose inaugural performance was held at The Majestic Theater in downtown Houston on June 21, 1913. Today, with an annual operating budget of $29 million, the full-time ensemble of 87 professional musicians is the largest performing arts organization in Houston, presenting more than 286 performances for 300,000 people, including 82,000 children, annually. For tickets and more information, please visit www.houstonsymphony.org or call (713) 224-7575.

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