Recognizing that the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg on July 3 and the Battle of Vicksburg on July 4 were turning points toward Union victory made this a uniquely special Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra concert at Conner Prairie.
Lincoln re-enactor Dean Dorrel's delivery of the 277-word "Gettysburg Address" (delivered by President Lincoln in November 1863) was far more measured than during previous concerts - and was given added weight by Randy Edelman's accompanying Suite from the motion picture Gettysburg, played by the ISO under conductor Alfred Savia. The music brought the emotional enormity of our nation's loss to the fore - casualties on both sides numbered up to 50,000 during the three-day battle.
Edelman's outstanding score more than held its own against the more recent John Williams score to the film Lincoln, which preceded it on the program. ISO trumpet player Robert Wood was featured in a fine rendition of the Lincoln segment "With Malice Toward None."
The concert also delivered patriotic music spanning the 18th to 21st centuries. Of particular note was the thought-provoking composition Freedom Tower by James Beckel, a member of the ISO's trombone section. This new work commemorates events surrounding 9/11. Fireworks, as always, were an added treat.