The Willamette Valley Concert Band will hold two final concerts before its summer break. The theme, "Happy Birthday, America,” will celebrate the signing of the Declaration of Independence, declaring America free of British rule.

The first concert will be Wednesday, July 3 at the Monmouth City Park, 1164 Alberta Ave. E, in Monmouth.

The second will be Tuesday, July 9, at the Harrisburg Riverfront Park, 245 First St., in Harrisburg.

Both free concerts will be held at 6:30 p.m.

The concert will kick off with a version of "The Star-Spangled Banner," arranged in 2002 by Steve Smith.

That will be followed by "An American Fanfare," by Rick Kirby, which incorporates strains of "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)" into a fast and energetic fanfare. 

"The Purple Pageant" is a lively concert march by K.L. King arranged by John P. Paynter, a director of bands at Northwestern University.

"A Tribute to Harry James" will feature trumpeter Steve Iverson evoking the famous jazz musician's instantly recognizable style.

"Patriotic Pageantry," arranged by Warren Barker, is a medley of classic American songs.

"Big Bands in Concert," arranged by Bob Lowden, will feature such famous pieces as "String of Pearls," "Satin Doll" and "Sophisticated Lady."

"National Emblem March," by Edwin Eugene Bagley, incorporates parts of "The Star-Spangled Banner."

Leroy Anderson's "Bugler's Holiday" features trumpeters Iverson, Jerry Oryschyn and Bob Clausen. 

"Soaring," by movie theme composer John Williams, will features the "Superman" theme song, "Cadillac of the Skies" from "Empire of the Sun," and the "Star Wars" theme.

Cole Porter's "Anything Goes," written in 1934, evokes figures of scandal and gossip from Depression-era high society.

The concert will end with John Philip Sousa's "Stars and Stripes Forever," designated the official march of the United States by Congress. Richard Sorenson, director emeritus of the band, will direct.

The Willamette Valley Concert Band, based in Albany, has played concerts in the Willamette Valley since 1970. The 50-member band includes adult musicians from Benton, Lynn, Marion and Polk counties. It is directed by Mike Bevington, a retired band director who taught for many years in Jefferson.

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