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Amarillo Symphony pops concert to celebrate America
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Amarillo Symphony will give patriotic pops concerts this weekend.

By Chip Chandler — Digital Content Producer

Patriotic tunes will ring out this weekend in a pair of Amarillo Symphony pops concerts.

The symphony's An American Celebration concerts will be held at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday in the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, 500 S. Buchanan St. Tickets are $15 to $54, plus fees.

"There's something for everybody in this concert, and I think they're really going to love it," said guest conductor James Fellenbaum.

The bulk of the program — which will include marches by John Philip Sousa, a salute to the armed forces and more — is comprised of compositions by American composers, Fellenbaum said.

"We certainly wanted to include composes who are American and have great pieces of work (by) Copland and Gershwin and Rogers & Hammerstein," Fellenbaum said. "I would say maybe 90 to 95 percent of the program is that."

The concert will conclude with a Russian work, though — one that has become intimately tied to America despite its overseas origins.

"We'll end the concert with about half of the 1812 Overture (by Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky)," Fellenbaum said. "People associate 1812 with Americana in one way or the other even though it's a Russian piece having to do with a battle with Napoleon."

Image - JamesFellenbaum.jpgFellenbaum, the resident conductor for the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, worked with symphony staffers and music director Jacomo Bairos to craft the program.

"There are many bombastic pieces, many that are slow and beautiful and expressive, and everything in between," Fellenbaum said. "So it was just a matter of balancing the program so the audience is getting a good, balanced (concert) — and not just for the audience, but for the players too, so they're not just playing one loud piece after another and getting tired."

The program will include Morton Gould's American Salute, Aaron Copland's Shaker Variations and Hoedown, Carmen Dragon's arrangement of America the Beautiful, Sousa's Washington Post March and more.



Chip Chandler is a digital content producer for Panhandle PBS. He can be contacted at, at @chipchandler1 on Twitter and on Facebook.