Independence Day in D.C.

You can still celebrate Independence Day this year even if crowds aren’t your thing. A star-studded concert on the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol will be filmed and televised on PBS.

Among the stars in this year’s concert: Steve Martin (yes, that Steve Martin. He’s also an accomplished bluegrass musician and he’ll perform an original song he wrote just for this concert about the midnight ride of Paul Revere told from the horse’s perspective), Matthew Morrison, Jordin Sparks, Little Richard, Josh Groban and others. Jimmy Smits will host the show.

Josh Groban also has a special song to perform: His is called “The War At Home” and he was inspired to write it immediately after visiting wounded troops at Walter Reed and hearing their stories. He literally wrote it based on his conversations with soldiers. It is meant to be a song about not only honoring what our troops are doing overseas, but not forgetting them once they get home.

The Concert is called A Capitol Fourth and will also feature Mark Ballas, Chelsie Hightower, the Broadway Cast of “Million Dollar Quartet”, Kelli O’Hara and the National Symphony Orchestra. It will air Monday, July 4, 2011 from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m. ET  A CAPITOL FOURTH can also be heard live over NPR Member stations nationwide, though only viewers will get to see the stunning fireworks display taking place all around our nation’s capital.

In celebration of America’s 235th birthday, the show will be capped off with a rousing rendition of Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” complete with live cannon fire provided by The U.S. Army Presidential Salute Battery. Also participating in the event will be The Choral Arts Society of Washington, along with The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Ceremonial Band, the U.S. Air Force Band Ceremonial Brass, Members of the Armed Forces carrying the State and Territorial Flags and the Armed Forces Color Guard provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.  

If you want to know more, check out:, which has a comprehensive viewer’s guide to the 2011 concert.

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