Caleb Young calls the annual “Patriotic Pops at Parkview Field” concert a highlight of Fort Wayne Philharmonic's year.
“From a musician's standpoint, it's the closest thing we'll ever get to being rock stars and doing a rock show because there's so many people and so much energy,” he says.
The free concert begins at 8:30 p.m. Tuesday with fireworks accompanying the final pieces of the show starting about 9:40 p.m.
Gates open at 6 p.m., and there is no reserved seating. Concert-goers can preregister at FWPhil.org for early access, which allows them to enter the stadium at 5 p.m. to claim seats. The ballpark's concessions will be open, as will the batting cages and Fun Zone.
Young says it is great to see people at this show who maybe have never stepped foot inside Embassy Theatre or IPFW for a regular Philharmonic show.
“For me, it's an opportunity for folks to come out to a beautiful space and hear great music,” says Young, the Philharmonic's assistant conductor. “We see people coming together in a communal space and putting aside all of the noise that we have to deal with every day and just be Americans.”
The Philharmonic travels the area doing the Patriotic Pops shows, including two this weekend and another Wednesday. Among elements of the Parkview Field show is “Liberty for All,” a piece by Indianapolis composer Jim Beckel. Former media personality Heather Herron is hosting the show and will narrate the piece, which includes excerpts from George Washington, Abraham Lincoln and the Constitution of the United States.
John Williams' “Born on the 4th of July” is another new piece in the show. Of course there will also be patriotic staples such as the national anthem and a salute to the armed forces.
Young is looking forward to the sing-along, which features songs such as “America, the Beautiful” and “God Bless America.”
“I love to get the audience involved, I think that's so special,” he says with excitement that thousands of people will be singing with the Philharmonic.
“You can't beat that.”