A big bang for a big crowd

BSO:The orchestra draws a record audience estimated at 20,000 for the fifth annual pre-Fourth of July concert.

Arundel Live

July 06, 2000|By Mary Johnson | Mary Johnson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

The Anne Arundel outdoor concert season's most popular annual event transcended big to become enormous Saturday when the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra came to Anne Arundel Community College's Siegert Field.

County Executive Janet S. Owens looked delighted and astonished when she announced a record turnout of 10,000 for the fifth annual pre-Fourth of July concert.

Later estimates put the crowd at twice that size. Fran Turcott, a spokeswomanM-5 for Anne Arundel Community College, said event organizers and the campus security office reported a turnout of 20,000.

By the time the BSO took the stage, there was only a small patch of grass off to the side where kids could dance and twirl their glow sticks. In chairs and on blankets, the audience covered the field and filled the bleachers. The overflow crowd sat on the grass outside the fence.

The crowd, acting as "full chorus," belted out "Sing Out, America," led by maestro Daniel Hege.

The BSO offered patriotic selections in the first half of its performance, followed by "Star Wars" music to accompany the fireworks in the second.

The versatile BSO presented a concert including "National Emblem March," "Americana Overture" and "Stars and Stripes Forever." As is customary at these concerts, former members of the armed forces were asked to stand during the playing of their branch's song in "Armed Forces Medley."

The "Star Wars" selections included "The Imperial March" with accompanying fireworks in red and white. The jazzy "Cantina Band" segment featured gold and white fireworks that spread out, filling the sky with a sizzling sound.

"Star Wars" ended with "Throne Room," accompanied by an even more spectacular fireworks display. The crowd gave the BSO a standing ovation.

Beginning 2M-= hours before the headliner BSO performance, four talented local groups took the stage. The 18-piece Crabtowne Big Band, led by Bill Yakaitis, opened the event with swing classics.

For the second year, the senior ensemble Maryland Sings performed, led by director Bill Myers. Singers Blake Pearson, Shae Waters, Ellen Roche, Kathleen Scott and Jessica Leonard were as versatile as they were energetic. From Cole Porter's "From This Moment On" to the country sounds of "Any Man of Mine," Maryland Sings delivered a spirited performance that was well-received.

Making their first appearance at Siegert Field, actors from Annapolis Summer Garden Theatre gave an electric performance of their recent smash hit "Jesus Christ Superstar." Terri Madden, who played Mary Magdalene, sang "Everything's All Right," and brothers John and Joe Rose brilliantly recapped their roles as Judas and Jesus. The Rose brothers had some audience members standing and cheering.

Summer Garden singers also treated the audience to a musical preview of "Once Upon a Mattress," which will be presented next month.

Annapolis Chorale Director J. Ernest Green led his singers through Gershwin and Porter medleys, and selections from Meredith Willson's "The Music Man." The still-growing audience clapped in rhythm to a rousing "76 Trombones" and hummed along to familiar favorites such as "Till There Was You."

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