July 4th concert program features New Bedford Symphony, Native American performers and children’s chorus

A July 4th Brass Band Concert on the New Bedford Whaling Museum plaza will feature New Bedford Symphony members, Native American performers and others, 6-8 p.m., ahead of the city’s 9:15 p.m. fireworks display over the central harbor

A July 4th Brass Band Concert will herald America’s 235th birthday surrounded by history. The free outdoor performance will take place on the plaza of the New Bedford Whaling Museum in the heart of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Independence Day. Under the baton of Dr. David Mackenzie, members of the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra will perform patriotic and pops favorites by John Philip Sousa, George Gershwin and others.

The event will also feature Native American performers. “This concert will be an American celebration like no other. Native American music and dance traditions will be part of the program with the Nettukkusqk Singers and performers from the Wampanoag Nation Singers and Dancers. I particularly encourage families with children to join us for this exceptional opportunity to see and hear them. It doesn’t get more American than this,” said Dr. MacKenzie.

In addition, the New Bedford No Place for Hate Multicultural Children’s Chorus will sing an original work, New Bedford, My Home by the Sea, by Dawn Blake-Souza.

Educator, author, poet and Whaling Museum trustee, Souza penned the ode in 1986, inspired by the view of the city from the harbor. Her husband, Joseph, an artist and musician, helped with the musical arrangement and encouraged her to publish the song in 2002. “When I became principal of the Campbell Elementary, the music teacher taught it to our chorus who performed it several times,” Souza noted.

The New Bedford No Place For Hate Multicultural Children’s Chorus is comprised of students from the Abraham Lincoln Elementary School, Peter J. Arteaga, director. The New Bedford No Place For Hate initiative is funded in part by the Jewish Federation of Greater New Bedford.

The Nettukkusqk Singers are Wampanoag and Nipmuc women from Rhode Island and Massachusetts, performing women’s drumming and singing traditions from their tribal communities. In the Natick dialect of Algonquin, “nettukkusqk” means “my sister.”

William Street and Johnny Cake Hill adjacent to the Museum plaza will be closed to traffic and the public is invited to bring chairs and blankets for an old-fashioned town concert that also features the music and dance traditions of the first Americans.

Children’s activities will be offered before the program and the concert will conclude with plenty of time to view the city’s 9:15 p.m. fireworks display over the center of New Bedford harbor. In the event of rain, the concert will move indoors to the museum’s Cook Memorial Theater.

The concert is a collaborative effort of the New Bedford Whaling Museum, the New Bedford Symphony Orchestra, the United Way of Greater New Bedford, and is funded in part through a grant from the Education through Cultural and Historical Organizations (ECHO), administered by the United States Department of Education, Office of Innovation and Improvement.

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