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Celebrate Independence Day with American Music

Photo by Patti Wells

The Carroll Symphony, The Carrollton Jazz Orchestra, and the Carrollton Wind Ensemble will be filling the air with American music for three days, starting Tuesday July 2, continuing on Wednesday July 3, and capping off on Thursday July 4th.

Admission to each of these family-friendly events is free.

Fresh from their successful tour of Italy, the Carrollton Wind Ensemble kicks off the celebratory days, taking the stage at the AMP at 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, July 2 for their “American Marches and More” concert.

The Carrollton Jazz Orchestra performs “American Jazz” at the AMP at 8:00 p. m. on Wednesday, July 3.

The Carroll Symphony Orchestra caps off Fourth of July celebrations with friends and families on the grounds of the Carrollton City Schools.

The 2024 “Sounds of Liberty” concert begins at 8:30 p.m. on Independence Day and builds to a fireworks display accompanied by the sounds of everyone’s favorite patriotic melodies.

Event planners invite attendees to gather on the lawn of Carrollton Elementary School, which offers ample room for all the lawn chairs and beach blankets of those who gather at the free event. Long-time attendees advise that the grounds right in front of the stage offer the very best view of the fireworks as well as the thrill of experiencing the music “up close.”

As evening approaches, spotlights switch on, the professional musicians mount the stage, local radio stations go live, Conductor and Music Director Terry Lowry steps onto the podium, the “Call to the Colors” signals the American Legion Honor Guard to raise our country’s flag, and “The Star-Spangled Banner” sounds across the crowd.

Audience members will enjoy an “All-American program,” so named because all the evening’s works were written by American composers, including George Gershwin, Aaron Copland, and John Philip Sousa. 

Well-known soloist Larry Frazier’s performance of “Salute to the Patriots” will set the theme for the crowd to recognize both wartime and peacetime veterans of each of our country’s military branches as they take the stage.

The CSO will also honor the area’s Gold Star Families with the performance of  John Phillips Sousa’s “Songs of Grace and Songs of Glory” as they pay tribute to the men and women who have given their lives in service to our country.

The Carroll Symphony will premiere an exciting American work by Bremen native Eli Parrish, a recent Emory University graduate and current CSO Intern. He is the son of Will and Amy Parrish.

Atlantan Indra Thomas, who has performed at many of the world-class opera houses and venues including the Metropolitan Opera and London’s Royal Albert Hall, will perform three selections, including “Summertime” from Porgy and Bess.

Ms. Thomas’ movie credits are “Upside” and the Academy Award-winning “Driving Miss Daisy,” and she is both Emmy-nominated and Grammy-nominated. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Shorter College and an Artistic Diploma from the prestigious Academy of Vocal Arts in in Philadelphia. She serves as Artist in Residence in Voice at Berry College in Rome, Georgia.

Everyone’s favorite patriotic melodies, including “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” and “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” are guaranteed to entertain the audience as the evening culminates in a brilliant fireworks display.

Mayor Betty Cason welcomes everyone to the celebration:

“It is an honor to serve as the Mayor of the City of Carrollton and have the privilege to welcome you to a night of beautiful music and a firework extravaganza. We are privileged to live in a country where we can assemble together to celebrate our freedom. I want to thank our military men and women who have given us this opportunity.

“We are so blessed in our community to have such wonderful, talented musicians as the Carroll Symphony Orchestra. Their Sounds of Liberty concert has become a vital part of our July 4th celebration.  The music fills the air with the spirit of celebration, and the nostalgia of the music brings the history of our country to life through sound. I want to thank our sponsors for their contribution in making this Fourth of July celebration possible for our community and wish each of you a happy and safe Independence Day.”

2024 will be the 22nd year for the CSO to perform at The Sounds of Liberty. Their very first Sounds of Liberty concert was also the first year that awards were presented for the winning floats in the People’s Parade, a project organized and managed by the Evening Sertoma Club. The tradition continues as this year’s Community Spirit Cup will be presented by Carrollton Evening Sertoman Rebecca L. Smith, coordinator of The People’s Parade.

This year’s concert is presented by The Carroll Symphony Orchestra Guild, City of Carrollton, the Carrollton Center for the Arts, Carroll County, Southwire, Brian and Mahala Bain Dental Group, Garrett & Robinson Investment, Advantage Office Solutions, SMI, Steve Adams and Verida, Ridley-Teal Properties, Barry Oxford and Turbo Data Networks, Hughes Custom Homes, Gradick Communications, 3:16 Healthcare, Sheriff Terry Langley, Johnny on the Spot, Tara Twirls, Almon Funeral Home, Scott Evans Nissan, Scott Evans Dodge, United Community Bank, Southern States Bank, Truist, Bank of America, Synovus Bank, The Warren and Ava Sewell Foundation, Threads Custom Tailoring, Pioneer Ford, B92 Country, and KISS 102.7.

The launch site for the fireworks, presented by the Carrollton Area Convention and Visitors Bureau, is across Ben Scott Boulevard from the concert stage and will be located between the practice football field and the baseball field beside Carrollton Junior High.

Traffic exiting the evening’s event will flow steadily under the guidance of Carrollton Police officers who will be stationed at the intersection of Ben Scott

Boulevard and Highway 166 Bypass, as well as the intersection of Hays Mill Road and the 166 Bypass. Traffic exiting stadium parking will be able to go either Trojan Drive or Wedgewood Drive. 

For those who cannot attend the Sounds of Liberty concert in person, Gradick Communications’ radio stations Kiss 102.7 and B-92 Country will broadcast the concert live.