Maryland Symphony Orchestra Annual “Salute to Independence” Concert

Hagerstown, MD—The 30th Annual “Salute to Independence” concert, presented by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, will be held on Saturday, July 4 at the Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg.  The free concert begins at 7:30 pm.

Music Director Elizabeth Schulze has programmed a concert that will honor, through words and music, the men and women who have served our country in the past, and those currently members of the United States Armed Forces.

The “Salute to Independence” has become one of Maryland’s most patriotic outdoor events and Washington County’s largest, one-day tourism event, attracting nearly 30,000 people each year.  In recent years it has been recognized by the American Bus Association as one of the “Top 100 Events in North America.”

Television and radio personality Robert Aubry Davis will narrate Aaron Copland’s classical orchestral work Lincoln Portrait, and vocalist Robert Tudor will be the guest soloist for this concert.

Davis is a native Washingtonian and an active member of the area’s cultural community. He is the creator and host of “Millennium of Music,” a program dedicated to music from the thousand years before Bach. He has been host and moderator of WETA-TV 26’s Emmy Award-winning weekly arts discussion program, “Around Town,” since its inception in 1986.  Davis can also be heard on VOX, XM Satellite Radio’s opera and classical vocal music channel.

His education in literature and art history at both Duke University and American University, and his broad knowledge of-and participation in-the arts, make him a well-respected and visible member of Washington’s cultural community.  He is a regular lecturer at a variety of area seminars and performances, including concerts with the Folger Concert, the Baltimore Consort, the Early Music Series at the University of Maryland, the Dumbarton Oaks Concert Series, and the Smithsonian Early Music Series.

Baritone Robert Tudor enjoys a vibrant career in the genres of opera, early music, musical theater and cabaret, and as a concert soloist throughout the United States. Since 2007, Robert has been featured annually as a guest artist in the Montana Early Music Festival and returns to Montana each summer as an artist and instructor at the Helena Choral Festival, where he directs, teaches, and appears as a soloist in recitals and concerts.

Tudor has performed with the celebrated Washington Bach Consort, Pro Music Colorado Chamber Orchestra, Maryland Handel Festival, and the Jacksonville and Maryland Symphony Orchestras.  He has also appeared as a guest artist at The Art of Argento, a two-week celebration of the music of contemporary American composer Dominick Argento at the University of Maryland.  Tudor received a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Voice Performance from the University of Maryland.  He serves as Director of Vocal Activities and Chair of the Department of Music at Shepherd University.  Tudor will sing the National Anthem, perform as a soloist in James Kessler’s “Shenandoah” from Appalachian Suite and lead the traditional Salute to the Armed Forces medley and  the “Sing -Out America” sing-a-long.

The MSO will be performing such crowd pleasing favorites as Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, Copland’s Fanfare for the Common Man, Gould’s American Salute, the Armed Forces Salute, and Sousa’s Liberty Bell March and Stars and Stripes Forever.

Serving as Master of Ceremonies will be former television news anchor and producer Pieter Bickford. Bickford is a lifelong journalist who now spends his days uncovering fun things to do in the area as Editor-in-Chief of What’s NXT, a free monthly event guide. Pieter grew up in Hagerstown, graduated from North High, and studied journalism at Ithaca College in New York. Pieter previously worked at WHAG-TV, WBAL Radio and Maryland Public Television. Pieter is actively involved in the community, serving on the board of directors for the Maryland Symphony Orchestra and hosting numerous events and forums throughout the year.

The evening will end with a spectacular fireworks display.

Antietam National Battlefield is one of America’s National Parks and is the site of the bloodiest one day battle in American history.  On September 17, 1862, more than 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or declared missing in action after 12 hours of savage combat.  For more information on the battlefield, www.nps.gov/ancm.