North Carolina Symphony Celebrates Independence Day with Free Concerts and Fireworks

Koka booth 4th of july

Koka booth 4th of julyJoin your North Carolina Symphony in celebrating our nation’s 235th birthday with a concert of classical favorites and patriotic tunes capped by some of the area’s biggest fireworks displays. The orchestra takes over Lake Benson Park in Garner for a free concert on Sunday, July 3, at 8:30 p.m., followed by a free July 4 concert that is part of the Symphony’s Rex Healthcare Summerfest Series in Cary’s Koka Booth Amphitheatre.

  • July 1 in Fayetteville
  • July 3 in Garner
  • July 4 at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary

The Cary concert begins at 7:30 p.m. Gates open at 5:00 p.m. As with every Summerfest concert, outside food and beverages, including wine and beer, are welcome.

Acclaimed guest conductor Sarah Ioannides leads the performances. Praised by The New York Times for her “unquestionable strength and authority,” the Australian conductor is a creative force behind two of America’s finest up-and-coming orchestras, the El Paso and Spartanburg symphony orchestras. Her engagements have spanned five continents, and she has served as an assistant conductor to Paavo Järvi at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and to Academy Award-winning composer Tan Dun.

She takes the podium for a concert program featuring a little bit of everything. John Williams’s Olympic ode Summon the Heroes, composed for the 1996 Summer Games in Atlanta, paves the way for a Duke Ellington medley, an arrangement of Harold Arlen’s timeless “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” classical favorites by Verdi and Tchaikovsky and more.

Fans hoping to hear the traditional Fourth of July fare will not be disappointed. The lineup includes many patriotic staples, from works by Sousa and Leroy Anderson to a special salute to America’s Armed Forces.

Lending his vocal talents to the evening is tenor Adam Ulrich. A New York native, he makes his North Carolina Symphony debut after previously appearing in the Piedmont Opera’s La bohème and in the title role in Bernstein’s Candide at the Brevard Music Center.

“Being an alumnus of UNC School of the Arts and the A. J. Fletcher Opera Institute, I consider North Carolina to be my home,” he says. “Making my symphony debut is the best welcome home gift I could think of.”

The Symphony also presents the free concert in Fayetteville’s Festival Park on Friday, July 1, at 8:00 p.m.

Lake Benson Park is located at 921 Buffaloe Road in Garner.

Koka Booth Amphitheatre is located at 8003 Regency Parkway, just off the intersection of US-1 and US-64/Tryon Road, in Cary. The Whole Foods Market of Cary Picnic of the Week contest will not be held during the July 4 concert.

About the North Carolina Symphony

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony performs over 175 concerts annually to adults and school children. The orchestra travels extensively throughout the state to venues in over 50 North Carolina counties. Under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry and Associate Conductor Sarah Hicks, the orchestra employs 67 professional musicians.

Based in downtown Raleigh’s spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It also holds concerts in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines, Wilmington and many other North Carolina communities throughout the year.

For tickets, program notes, podcasts—or just to get to know your Symphony’s musicians—visit the North Carolina Symphony Web site at Call North Carolina Symphony Audience Services at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724. The State of North Carolina has issued your Symphony an $8 million challenge; learn more at

Concert/Event Listing:

North Carolina Symphony

Independence Day

Sarah Ioannides, conductor

Adam Ulrich, tenor

July 1, 2011, 8pm

Festival Park, Fayetteville

July 3, 2011, 8:30pm

Lake Benson Park, Garner

July 4, 2011, 7:30pm

Koka Booth Amphitheatre, Regency Park, Cary

Program Listing:

North Carolina Symphony

Independence Day

Sarah Ioannides, conductor

July 1-4, 2011

The Star-Spangled Banner

John Stafford Smith/arr. Damrosch/Sousa

Summon the Heroes

John Williams

Duke Ellington Medley

arr. Lee Norris

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Harold Arlen


Agustin Lara

Adam Ulrich, tenor

“La Donna e mobile” from Rigoletto

Giuseppe Verdi

Adam Ulrich, tenor

Allegro con fuoco from Symphony No. 4 in F minor, Op. 36

Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Belle of the Ball

Leroy Anderson

The Sound of Music: A Symphonic Picture

Richard Rodgers/arr. Bennett

Bugler’s Holiday*

Leroy Anderson

Semper Fidelis March

John Philip Sousa

Armed Forces Salute

arr. Bob Lowden

Amazing Grace

John Newton/arr. Beckel

“American Anthem”

Gene Scheer

Adam Ulrich, tenor

“This is the Moment” from Jekyll and Hyde

Frank Wildhorn/arr. Scharnberg

Adam Ulrich, tenor

*July 4 concert only


By Triangle A&E

What about Bob Bob has over thirty years experience as Creative Director at notable advertising and marketing agencies in Manhattan and Raleigh Bob's creative has been recognized by the Society of Illustrators, Packaging Design Council, Magazine Design, Art Directors Club. In addition, Bob has been published in Graphic Design USA, American Graphic Design, and the Creativity Annual. In 2008, Bob was honored to Judge the Davey Awards for interactive and web design. Bob's passion for the arts has led him to utilize his talent and experience in support of the arts here in the Triangle by creating Triangle Arts and Entertainment.