Organizers report concert attendance sets record in Genoa

The sound of cannon fire echoed in the canyons of the Carson Range as the Reno Philharmonic performed Tchaikovsky's "1812 Overture" in Mormon Station State Historic Park on Friday in celebration of Independence Day.

Nearly 3,000 people attended this year's 25th Pops in the Park performance by the Reno Philharmonic Orchestra on Friday.

Concert-goers vehicles lined the highways leading to Nevada's first permanent settlement for a mile in each direction.

Organizers there was a record turnout for the event.

"The weather was spectacular, we had real cannons to round out the 1812 Overture, and everyone thought that was a thrill," Master of Ceremonies Dave Whitgob said.

The day started with the Gairin Celtic Singers during a lunch hosted by the Town of Genoa.

The Carson Chamber singers performed and Tahoe Ridge Winery donated wine to help the Sierra Philharmonic League support the event.

Whitgob said it costs nearly $35,000 to bring the orchestra to Genoa for the annual event.

League President Gene Moranville honored the founding members and past presidents on the 25th anniversary of the concert.

"John Tyson did the Pledge of Allegiance and performed the "Lincoln Portrait," which is a narrative," Whitgob said. "He did a wonderful job."

Three groups operated the cannons for the 1812 Overture including the Nevada Civil War Volunteers, the University of Nevada, Reno, ROTC brought a cannon, and the 150th Maintenance Company of the Nevada National Guard.

The invocation was recited by Fallon Naval Air Station chaplain Michael A. Bigelow.

"He did an excellent job," Whitgob said. "It was very appropriate and very timely. It brought everything together."

Whitgob said the chaplain got a standing ovation, as did Tyson and the orchestra.

Guest conductor Timm Rolek led the orchestra through its set, which included patriotic favorites, such as the "Battle Hymn of the Republic," "America the Beautiful" and "Stars & Stripes."

"There are a host of volunteers who are members of the league and work year around to put the event on," Whitgob said.

Douglas County's own Carson Valley Pops Orchestra performed earlier in the day at Heritage Park in Gardnerville.

Hundreds of concert-goers listened as Conductor Danny Yale led the Pops through their set of patriotic tunes.

Cooler weather on Independence Day may have helped attendance. The high was in the mid-80s and it was slightly overcast through the early afternoon.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment