It’s hard to believe that it’s been 2 years since we’ve performed with the Pacific Symphony on the 4th of July. This year, the holiday is fast approaching and my memories of notable Independence Day celebrations linger on July 4th, 2010.
The venue was the Verizon Amphitheater, formerly known as Irvine Meadows. It was so special to do a John Denver Tribute there because Irvine Meadows was one of the places we saw John Denver perform there when Jim and I were just youngsters. Also, we were going to perform with the Pacific Symphony, a very talented and prestigious organization, under the baton of conductor Richard Kaufman. (Maestro Kaufman had conducted many symphony concerts with John Denver).
Any time you accept a summer concert, you must be prepared for the heat as best you can, but the afternoon sun in Southern California can be a killer. The good folks at the Verizon Wireless have it all figured out though…. They lower a shade curtain across the front of the stage, and then they pump air conditioning in behind the screen to keep everyone cool. This is a huge help, not only to keep the musicians from getting drained before the concert, but also to keep the instruments under reasonable control, as they tend to lose their pitch under extreme weather conditions.
It was a wonderful concert, and now a precious memory. Featured performers were: Diane Ireland on flutes, Alan Deremo on bass, Richie Gajate-Garcia on Drums, Chris Wills on piano, Pete Huttlinger on guitar/banjo, and special guests Mollie Weaver (vocals) John Marshall (fiddle) and Whitney Kaufman (vocals) . The evening ended with the traditional patriotic music played by the symphony and fireworks blasting overhead. Perfect!