For the fourth year in a row, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra Pops Conductor Jack Everly will lead the National Symphony Orchestra in the 33rd annual broadcast of “A Capitol Fourth,” Thursday, July 4 from 8 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. EST.
The concert, celebrating the country’s independence, will return to the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. It will be hosted by two-time Emmy Award–winning Tom Bergeron (“Dancing with the Stars”) and will star Barry Manilow.
A special guest performer will be Grammy- and Golden Globe–winning musician and songwriter Neil Diamond, who will debut “Freedom Song (They’ll Never Take Us Down),” a tribute to the victims of the Boston Marathon bombing that took place on April 15, 2013.
Also featured will be performances by Candice Glover, the season 12 winner of “American Idol”; country music artist Scotty McCreery, the season 10 winner of “American Idol”; actor and singer Darren Criss (“Glee”); musical prodigy and classical crossover star Jackie Evancho; Broadway and television star Megan Hilty (“Smash”); Broadway’s new hit “Motown The Musical”; and five-time Academy Award–winner John Williams conducting music from the Oscar-winning “Lincoln” with the National Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to the ISO, Everly is also the Principal Pops Conductor of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Canada. He has been on stage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl and The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, and appears regularly with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center. His frequent guest conducting engagements include the orchestras of Pittsburgh, Edmonton, Oklahoma City and this season with The Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann Center.
“It doesn’t matter if you are a Jack Everly or a Barry Manilow or a new kid from ‘American Idol.’ What is overwhelming is the fact that you are standing on that stage … outdoors … cameras everywhere … and you are looking up at the Capitol dome and the Washington Monument. I tell you, even though I have seen it now for four years and up close in person, it is still an overwhelming dynamic. It’s so gigantic. It really just grabs you,” says Everly about the experience of working in the concert’s setting, about which he adds, “You are standing in the middle of something of historic proportions.”
And though Everly is impressed like everyone else is with the scope of the event that draws hundreds of thousands to the National Mall, is viewed live by millions in the U.S. and around the world on the American Forces Network, and is heard live on NPR member stations nationwide — he says he tries to remain focused. “Intellectually I am aware of everything around me, except when I am actually conducting the concert. When you are in the middle of it and you are working to achieve the perfection that everyone is demanding, you don’t think of anything but the task at hand.”
Everly, who also conducts the National Symphony Orchestra for the annual Memorial Day concert (also televised by PBS), says: “They are a delight to work with. They are always so wonderfully respectful of all genres of music. They just do it all. They really do. They so totally understand the process of the telecasts for Memorial Day and the July 4th concerts. They get it. They understand the difficulties. They understand the constraint — seemingly the simplest things are the most complex to achieve. They get it because they understand what live TV broadcasts are all about.”
“The Memorial Day concert is, of course, extremely honoring; to celebrate America on July 4th is more of a musical party. There are countless parts to it and it’s a real challenge to assemble all that seamlessly. I am just part of a really incredible team. The team that produces these concerts is impeccable. I cannot stress that enough. Everybody on the deck of the stage, everyone behind the scenes — they are truly dedicated and brilliant at what they do. It just wouldn’t happen this smoothly if it weren’t for these really dedicated people behind the scenes.”
The program is a co-production of Jerry Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C. Executive producer Jerry Colbert and producer Michael Colbert have assembled an award-winning production team that features the top Hollywood talent behind some of television’s most prestigious entertainment awards shows.
For more information about “A Capitol Fourth,” visit www.pbs.org/capitolfourth. The concert Facebook page is www.facebook.com/capitolfourth.
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