FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- Arriving carrying blankets, lawn chairs and umbrellas, more than 3,000 people gathered at MacArthur Field here early to stake out their favorite spot on the grass to listen to the sounds of summer by the San Antonio Symphony led by resident conductor Ken-David Masur.

Sponsored by the Tobin Endowment, the 3rd annual Memorial Day weekend concert at Fort Sam Houston began with pre-concert activities that included entertainment by the Tailpipes performing 50s and 60s-era music. Children's activities included face painting and an opportunity for children to try out the different musical instruments on display.

The Sam Houston Club and the Bowling Center were ready for the concert preparing thousands of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken fajita tacos, fruit cups and more for the hungry crowd.

Maj. Gen. Russell Czerw, commanding general, Fort Sam Houston and Army Medical Department Center and School, accompanied by the San Antonio Symphony, opened the concert with his rendition of the national anthem.

Highlights of the concert, which was broadcast live on KLRN by Time Warner, included patriotic favorites such as "Texas Our Texas," "America the Beautiful," the "Armed Forces Medley," and "Stars and Stripes Forever." In celebration of this year's summer Olympics in China, the symphony paid tribute to all athletes performing "The Olympic Spirit" written by John Williams for the Seoul Summer Olympics in 1988.

The concert included various musical selections by composers John Philip Sousa's "The Washington Post," Aaron Copeland's "Saturday Night Waltz," and a medley of great American songs arranged by Arthur Harris such as "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "Camptown Races" and "Yankee Doodle."

A fan of the San Antonio Symphony and seasoned ticket holder for all the concerts, Gloria Montesclaros said, "It was great, wonderful, excellent for the young and future generations to be able to see."

The concert ended with a spectacular display of fireworks and booming cannon fire by the Fort Sam Houston Salute Battery while the orchestra, joined by members of the Army Medical Command Band, performed Tchaikovsky "1812 Overture," the "National Emblem March," the "American Patrol March" and "Stars & Stripes Forever."

(Esther Garcia works for the Fort Sam Houston Public Affairs Office)

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16