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Guest Conductor Bob Bernhardt Joins Salute to America 2014

June 27, 2014 Think THF

Photo courtesy of Greenberg Artists.

This year during Salute to America, guest conductor Bob Bernhardt will join the Detroit Symphony Orchestra during The Henry Ford’s Fourth of July celebration in Greenfield Village. I had a chance to ask Bob, the principal pops conductor with the Louisville Orchestra, a few questions about what he’s most looking forward to next week on Walnut Grove.

Bob is excited about his first Salute to America. Often returning to Detroit as a guest conductor, he fondly described working with the DSO as a delight and is looking forward to sharing the concert with the U.S. Army Field Band, Concert Band and Soldiers' Chorus, the premier touring musical representatives of the United States Army.

“It’s going to be a real musical salute but an actual salute with the Army Field band. It actually should be just enormous fun,” he said. Bob believes the Fourth of July should be a celebration along with aspects of reverence and gratitude for service in the armed forces.

“It’s all about the country, and it’s all about our audience, our families. Give them a good time and be together as a community, to celebrate and remember,” Bernhardt said of the Fourth festivities. “The entire concert is Americana. Basically, it’s all music that people will know and recognize. Plus, there’s a wonderful sing-along.”

Bob is especially looking forward to “Hymn to the Fallen,” a song by his mentor and personal hero, renowned film composer John Williams. Originally written for the movie Saving Private Ryan, he regards the song as perfect for Independence Day, “a five-minute work, breathtakingly beautiful and goose-bumpingly inspirational.”

Salute to America will culminate with a fireworks show set to Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, accompanied by real cannon fire. When asked about conducting during the rumpus, he laughed. “It’s always fun with the fireworks. No matter what you do, the fireworks are the focus… The fireworks trump, and that’s how it should be,” said Bob, smiling.

We’re honored to welcome guest conductor Bob Bernhardt at this year’s Salute to America July 2-5.

Don’t forget to reserve your tickets for Salute to America 2014 by purchasing them from our website. Share your favorite moments from this year's Salute to America by tagging your photos with #SaluteToAmerica. Your photo may even be included in our highlight video from this year's shows.

Sarah R. Kornacki is a Media & Film Relations Intern at The Henry Ford.

Greenfield Village, Salute to America

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