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Annual July 4 Patriotic Concert at Vail's Ford Amphitheater dedicated to the late Jack Kemp

July 1, 2009 — When the Vail Valley Foundation strikes up the band for the entire community Saturday afternoon, July 4, former vice presidential candidate, congressman and Vail Valley resident Jack Kemp will be on the minds of many in the audience as the Foundation will dedicate the annual Patriotic Concert and donate the proceeds in Kemp’s memory to the Vail Veterans Ski Program.

Featuring the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and entitled “A Salute to Freedom”, the concert, hosted in conjunction with the 2009 Bravo! Vail Valley Music Festival, will get under way at 2 p.m. at the Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater in Vail. Kemp, a member of the Foundation’s board of directors since 1995, passed away in May.

“The Patriotic Concert was one of Jack’s favorite events in the valley,” said Ceil Folz, president of the Vail Valley Foundation. “On numerous occasions, he volunteered to read the Gettysburg Address or give some thoughts on liberty and freedom in conjunction with the concert.”

Pavilion seat tickets for the concert are priced at $15 and will go on sale at the amphitheater box office on Wednesday, July 1, at 11 a.m., with a limit of four per person. No telephone orders will be taken and no tickets will be sold online or through the Vilar Performing Arts Center box office. Ticket purchasers must be 16 years of age or older.

General admission lawn seating is free, with the gates to the Ford Amphitheater opening at 12:30 p.m. in anticipation of the 2 p.m. show.

All proceeds from the Patriotic Concert ticket sales will go to support the Vail Veterans Program, a community-based effort that offers skiing and snowboarding to amputee veterans of the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. The program not only introduces participant veterans to skiing and snowboarding, it also offers a positive transition to living with a new disability.

Under the direction of conductor Bruce Hangdon, the Dallas Symphony’s performance is slated to include such traditional Independence Day favorites as Bagley’s “National Emblem March”, Sousa’s “Semper Fidelis” and Liberty Bell March”, John Williams’ “Liberty Fanfare” and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture”.

Additional offerings will include Groffe’s “Grand Canyon Suite”, Rodgers & Hammerstein’s “Oh! What a Beautiful Morning” from Oklahoma and Woody Guthrie’s “This Land is Your Land”.

The Patriotic Concert has been a holiday fixture at the Ford Amphitheater since the Vail Valley Foundation opened the facility in 1987.

The Gerald R. Ford Amphitheater and the Patriotic Concert are projects of the Vail Valley Foundation. For additional information, call (970) 949-1999 or visit



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