So, what did you do for the Fourth of July?
I sang in the choir for the Capitol Fourth celebration. It was televised on PBS and hosted by Jimmy Smits, and performers included Huey Lewis and the News, Taylor Hicks, Hayley Westenra, Brian Stokes Mitchell, the National Symphony Orchestra, and more. It was a very cool way to spend the 4th. The crowds were insane, and the view was gorgeous. I’m also a music dork, so I loved getting to sit right behind the orchestra as they played the Olympic Fanfare. And I’m not sure I knew there were words to the 1812 Overture, but I’ve sung them now. With cannons.
One hilarious moment occurred in the later half of the concert. Taylor Hicks performed early (I’ve never been a huge American Idol fan and so had never really listened to any of Taylor Hicks’s music, but now I can’t get “Soul Thing” out of my head), and later in the concert, he snuck into the back of the orchestra to take pictures from the stage. I can’t blame him – it was an incredible view with the Capitol in the background and the crazy number of people on the Capitol Lawn. But it was just so funny to watch. It made him seem so normal, like he wasn’t jaded by everything that’s happened to him. Someone took a picture of him on his camera with the Capitol in the background as well, and he grinned like a little kid. So funny.
The one thing I was dreading about the evening was the crowds getting home. Clearly, I live in the right area, because I walked up to Union Station, got right onto a train, and there were maybe three other people standing. Definitely not the smashed in experience I expected.
I hope that I get the chance to sing in the concert again next year. It was great to meet so many new people and to get to perform in such a huge event.