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Utah Symphony Patriotic Celebration

Saturday July 3

By Jacob Stringer
Posted // July 1,2010 - Of the many patriotic songs available for celebrations marking this country’s freedom from the tyranny of the Crown, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” is a pretty good one. Not only is it a rousing tune that can inspire a nationalistic lump in the throat, it also has an intriguing history. Author Sarah Vowell, for one, is fond of noting that “Battle Hymn” actually derives from a traditional folk song celebrating one of this country’s earliest abolitionists (read: terrorist) and originally included such stirring lines as “John Brown’s body lies a-mouldering in the grave. His soul’s marching on.”

This year for its Patriotic Celebration, Utah Symphony will include that tune, among others, alongside tributes to a couple of very American institutions: baseball and the armed services. The first act will see KUTV 2 News meteorologist Sterling Poulson narrating the landmark baseball poem “Casey at the Bat” paired with a traditional arrangement of the nostalgia-laden “Take Me Out to the Ball Game.” The second act will feature a salute to all five branches of the U.S. armed services with “The Caisson Song” (Army), “Sempre Paratus” (Coast Guard), “Marine’s Hymn,” “The U.S. Air Force” and “Anchors Aweigh” (Navy).

Of course, no patriotic musical celebration is complete without at least one march from the master of marches, John Philip Sousa: The evening of open-air fun will come to a romping close with “The Stars and Stripes Forever.”

Utah Symphony Patriotic Celebration @ Sundance Resort, Route 92, North Fork of Provo Canyon, July 2, 8 p.m., $15; @ Deer Valley Resort, Park City, July 3, 7:30 p.m., $25-$65. 801-533-6683,

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