Pacific Symphony's Fourth of July Celebration: American Pie, Featuring Don McLean
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The last date listed for Pacific Symphony's Fourth of July Celebration: American Pie, Featuring Don McLean was Friday July 4, 2008 / 8:00pm.
Shades, flip-flops, wine bottle, picnic basket, and 88 Pacific Symphony musicians…it’s everything anyone might need for a perfect summer evening. The Symphony’s “Summer Festival 2008” — the 21st season of symphonic music in the great outdoors, sponsored by The Orange County Register and led by Symphony music director Carl St.Clair—kicks off at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Irvine, with a holiday celebration featuring rock and roll icon Don McLean. The singer—thanks to his 1971 anthem “American Pie” — has proven himself to be an enduring superstar, with hits that include “Castles in the Air,” “Vincent,” “And I Love You So,” and “Crying.” Conducted by the Symphony’s Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, the concert also includes the Southern California Children’s Chorus singing favorite patriotic tunes, plus, a tribute to the U.S. Armed Forces—and a brilliant fireworks finale!
Picnicking under the stars with family and friends….celebrating the birthday of our beloved country with memorable music played by one of America’s great symphony orchestras….listening to a legendary American singer….incredible fireworks. What better way to spend a summer’s night?” says Maestro Kaufman, summing up what many in Orange County have also concluded about the Symphony’s Summer Festival. “It’s a ‘musical picnic’ right out of “The Music Man,” he adds.
The star of the concert, McLean—started just as he suggests in “American Pie”— as a paperboy. It was in this way that he learned of the death of the man he calls his first and last idol: Buddy Holly. Haunted by feelings that everything important had been said and done by bigger men, McLean tried his hand at music. In the mid-to-late 1960s, McLean earned regional success. When “American Pie” was released, the title song was considered too long by the AM stations of the day. But when FM caught hold of “American Pie,” they played the full version and listeners loved it. The record hit No.1 almost overnight and sold at an unbelievable rate; McLean shot into superstardom. And although the singer went on to record a number of hits, “American Pie” remains his signature song.