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Eat Pluribus Unum

Pacific Symphony's revelers celebrate the united plates of America with holiday feasts, music and fireworks.

July 07, 1998|ANN CONWAY

The Event: Picnickers were among the 11,500 music lovers gathered at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre for an Independence Day celebration, complete with exploding fireworks and a performance by the Pacific Symphony.

Merrymaking on the Meadows: Symphony subscribers chose from several preconcert dining options: Some picnicked on the rolling lawn, spreading red, white and blue tablecloths over colorful blankets. Others--subscribers to the symphony's Meadows Tables section--sat at tables draped with checkered cloths in an area enclosed by a white picket fence. Still others--the orchestra's major donors--dined on gourmet fare near the orchestra pit, sipping bubbly from bottles chilling in gleaming silver ice buckets.

A Family Affair: Along with daughters Kristen, 19 months, and Jessica, 9, Bob and Brooke Blomstrom of Coto de Caza dined with pals in the Meadows Tables area, sampling pasta salad, barbecued chicken (cooked up at home--and brought warm to the event) and flag torte cake--a patriotic looking concoction embellished with blueberry "stars" and raspberry "stripes." "This is a tour de force," Bob Blomstrom said of the luscious dessert whipped up by good friend Nancy Whichard.

On Tap: After supper, concert-goers took their seats in the amphitheater for the symphony's "America on Tap" program, featuring conductor Richard Kaufman leading the orchestra in John Williams' "Liberty Fanfare," Morton Gould's "Tap Dancer Concerto" (featuring dancer Karl Warkentien) and the world premiere of the "John Denver Celebration--an Overture" arranged by film composer Lee Holdridge.

On the Bill: The West Coast premiere of the "Jefferson Tribute," narrated by actor Mike Farrell, using text from the Declaration of Independence.

Finale: Explosion after colorful explosion--shooting stars, sprays, fountains--you name it--rocked the evening sky with little Kristen Blomstrom seeming to speak for the ebullient crowd when she exclaimed: "Oh! Wow!"

Footnote: For information on the Pacific Symphony: (714) 755-5788.

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