Houston Matters

How Did Certain Music Become the Soundtrack of Independence Day?

(Above: The Houston Symphony’s Star-Spangled Salute at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Photo: Chinh Phan, CatchLightGroup) When you think of the Fourth of July, a few things probably come to mind: parades, hot dogs, fireworks, and John Philip Sousa. Even if you don’t immediately recognize that name, you’d most certainly recognize his famous march The Stars and […]

Houston Symphony Star Spangled Salute July 4(Above: The Houston Symphony’s Star-Spangled Salute at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Photo: Chinh Phan, CatchLightGroup)

When you think of the Fourth of July, a few things probably come to mind: parades, hot dogs, fireworks, and John Philip Sousa. Even if you don’t immediately recognize that name, you’d most certainly recognize his famous march The Stars and Stripes Forever.

And if that doesn’t ring any bells, what about Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture? That piece isn’t even about American history, and we’ve adopted it as an unofficial fanfare for our Independence Day celebrations.

So, what is it about that music that fits so well into this holiday, and why do pieces like these inevitably show up at events like the Houston Symphony’s annual Star-Spangled Salute at Miller Outdoor Theater?

To discuss those works — and what else we can expect from the show — we talk with Steven Reineke, the symphony’s Principal Pops Conductor Designate.

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