United States Army Band presents Tchaikovsky's "Overture 1812"
August 9, 2012
The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" will entertain audiences of all ages with its annual "Overture 1812 Concert" featuring the popular Tchaikovsky's Overture 1812 on Tuesday, Aug. 14, at 8 p.m. The FREE performance will be held at the Sylvan Theater on the Washington Monument Grounds between 15th Street and Independence Avenue. No tickets are required for this event. The closest metro stop to the location is the Smithsonian station on the orange and blue lines.
A favorite among Washingtonians, the annual musical extravaganza offers an enjoyable musical program of traditional band music with vocal highlights. The program features selections from John Philip Sousa, Stephen Flaherty, Zina Goldrich and Leroy Anderson. The powerful finale is the always spectacular Overture 1812 by Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky, which includes explosive cannon fire by the Presidential Salute Battery of the 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard). Tchaikovsky's Overture 1812 is one of the most recognizable works that American audiences enjoy hearing at celebrations year after year.
The battery, equipped with four three-inch, 5,775-pound, World War II vintage anti-tank guns, will fire 75mm blank shells with one-and-a-half pounds of gunpowder. A total of 33 shots will be fired, including the final volley from all four cannons.
Overture 1812 was composed for the 1880 Kremlin Square celebration honoring the Russian victory over the French Napoleon Bonaparte in 1812. Today the overture is revered among concert goers--from its playful, mocking themes from the French national anthem, La Marseillaise, to the powerful finale with ringing church bells and booming cannons proclaiming victory!
This performance is a highlight of the Washington, D.C., outdoor music season. Come early and bring a blanket or lawn chairs and a picnic and enjoy the sights and sounds as The U.S. Army Band "Pershing's Own" and the Presidential Salute Battery light up the night (alcoholic beverages are not permitted).