Austin Symphony Orchestra to host Independence Day concert

Tucker Whatley

Independence day is all about the fireworks and the Independence Day concert at Auditorium Shores is one way Austinites can get their fireworks fix this July 4.

Austin Symphony will hold its 37th annual Independence Day concert at Auditorium Shores on Thursday, culminating in a fireworks show.

The concert, which will begin at 8:30 pm, will feature classic patriotic tunes played by Austin Symphony Orchestra, with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Anthony Corroa, executive director at Austin Symphony said the symphony always plays the 1812 Overture. 

“It’s pretty much standard at any Fourth of July concert celebration,” Corroa said.

The fireworks are choreographed to time up with the music being played by the orchestra. 

The concert has several sponsors, including the City of Austin, HEB, and Exxon Mobile. Together, they pay for about half of the concert. The Austin Symphony pays for the rest.

“We feel very fortunate that we have enough support that we can continue to do it, because it’s the single biggest concert we put on, and it’s free,” Carroa said. “We’re very proud of that.” 

Since more than 75,000 attendees are expected, the symphony begins preparations about six months in advance, including outlining their goals for the concert for the City of Austin.

Austin Symphony works closely with the Austin Police Department, which provides between 35 and 40 off-duty police officers to keep watch over the event. Other city departments, including the Austin Fire Department, EMS and Parks and Recreation will be present to ensure the event runs smoothly and safely. 

“All the city departments are so helpful about everything,” said Craig Hahn, director of operations at Austin Symphony.

The symphony must also prepare enough portable toilets and food vendors for the thousands of visitors. The symphony also hires a clean-up crew to deal with the waste left behind from the event.

“They literally go through with a flashlight picking up the most miniscule things, such as little cigarette butts, a bottle cap and stuff like that,” Hahn said.

Concert-goers’ main goal should be having fun, Hahn said. 

“Everyone should just come on down, bring some water, prepare for the heat a little bit and enjoy themselves. It’s supposed to be 70 degrees at some point [Thursday] evening, so it should be a great night for fireworks.”

Follow Tucker Whatley on Twitter @tuckerwhatley.