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2009 Freedom Days
Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
News Release
Friday, June 26, 2009

Michael KrajewskiAmerican spirit takes center stage at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion with the return of the annual Star-Spangled Salute July 3 at 8 p.m. The Houston Symphony performs an array of patriotic selections at this FREE Independence Eve celebration proudly sponsored by The Woodlands Development Company.

Led by Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski, the symphony performs a variety of traditional favorites, American classics and patriotic medleys, ending with Tchaikovsky's ever-popular "1812 Overture," "American Salute," "Oh! Susanna," "The Yellow Rose of Texas," "Service Medley" and "America the Beautiful."
In honor of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday, the Houston Symphony also performs Aaron Copland's "Lincoln Portrait" featuring a narration of excerpts of Lincoln's great documents. Narrating the piece is Pavilion board member and Vice President and General Manager of FOX 26 and MY 20 D'Artagnan Bebel.
Joining the symphony straight from the historic Cactus Theater in Lubbock, Texas, are The Cactus Cuties, a musical group made up of Baylee Barrett, Blaire Elbert, Andi Kitten and Madeline Powell who range in age from 9 to 14. The quartet performs "The Star-Spangled Banner" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" a cappella.  They are joined by the symphony for "The Rockin' It Old School Medley" and "Children of America."
Starting at 6:30 p.m., in the Fidelity Investments Plaza children can meet Uncle Sam and have their picture taken with Puffy Pine Cone while parents register to win Tommy Bahama's "Best Seats in the House." American flags and hand-held fans also are available to guests enjoying the show, while supplies last. Lord Stirling's Fifes and Drums kicks off the evening's activities from 6:30 - 7:45 p.m. performing early-American
military "field music" in the plaza.
Carrying on the American tradition, the evening ends with cannons trumpeting from atop the hill and a spectacular fireworks display in celebration of the Star-Spangled Salute's 20th anniversary. The fireworks are launched from the lawn plaza behind the hill and are best viewed from your seat.
Active, reserve and recently discharged service men and women are invited to the FREE Star-Spangled Salute where The Woodlands Development Company and The Pavilion will recognize them at the beginning of the concert for their dedication and service to our country. A specially-marked reserved section is available for these individuals and their families (up to four seats per person). Individuals are asked to
RSVP by July 1 if they would like reserved seats by emailing
Since the inception of the Star-Spangled Salute in 1990, this FREE patriotic event has been generously sponsored by The Woodlands Development Company. All seating is general admission. 
For more information about The Pavilion and its 20th Performing Arts Season, please visit

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