In honor of those who have served in the military, the North Carolina Symphony has created the Red, White and Blue Tour which will run06-02-10-full-symphony.gif June 1-5.

The idea for the Red, White and Blue Tour came from Grant Llewellyn, music director of the North Carolina Symphony. The symphony itself is 69 members strong and combines 19 unique instruments in its performances. The concerts will have guest performers, like vocalist Sgt. Christal Sanders Rheams and other members of the military.

The first performance will be on June 1 at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base on the Fitness Center Track and Field. Food items will be sold and base access is required. The show at the Station Theater of Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point will be on June 2, and will require tickets in advance. June 3 a performance for the troops stationed at Camp Lejeune and New River Air Station at Riverwalk Crossing Park in downtown Jacksonville will be held. Then on June 4, the tour will move to the Main Post Parade Field of Fort Bragg. A photo ID is required for base access. The tour will conclude at the Koka Booth Amphitheatre in the Regency Park of Cary.

All of the performances in the Red, White and Blue Tour are free and will begin at 7:30 p.m. The concerts will be approximately an hour and a half long, with a 15 minute intermission, except at Fort Bragg. Fort Bragg’s concert will be 90 minutes long and will not have an intermission.

“I am incredibly proud that we’re going to be doing this particular tour. Music holds a special place in my heart and I think this tour is important to honor those who have served in the military,” said Rob Maddrey, director of Statewide Development for the symphony.

Big crowds are expected because Ft. Bragg and Jacksonville can accommodate more than 2,000 people and typically Cary has brought around 3,000 people to evening concerts the North Carolina Symphony has performed.

While the Red White and Blue Tour itself will probably not become a tradition Maddrey hopes this will not be the last time the North Carolina Symphony plays at these military installations. Maddrey also said that the symphony has been warmly welcomed every step of the way.

The Red, White and Blue Tour’s sponsors are First Citizens Bank and Our State magazine. Complimentary copies of the magazine will be given away at the Fort Bragg concert. The Fort Bragg concert will also have a Hat Parade at 6 p.m., where people are invited to wear their wackiest hats, and an “Instrument Zoo,” where kids can play trumpets, violins, flutes and other instruments. The show in Cary will also have an “Instrument Zoo” and will be part of the North Carolina Symphony’s Summerfest. Summerfest, now in its 20th year, is a series of concerts held over seven Saturdays in the summer months, with different themes.

The North Carolina Symphony was started during 1932, in Chapel Hill, with 50 volunteer musicians from all over the state.

For more information please visit the symphony Web site at redwhiteblue.

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