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Monday, April 24, 2000

Celebrate Armed Forces Day with "Hospice Harmonies" May 20

SALISBURY, MD---Some 300 musicians young and old come together on Armed Forces Day, May 20, on the playing field of Arthur W. Perdue Stadium for a roaring celebration ending with fireworks, as a joint benefit for Coastal Hospice and the Salisbury Symphony Orchestra at Salisbury State University.

Titled "Hospice Harmonies," the Saturday concert at 7:30 p.m. "is unlike any performance we've ever done before," said Dr. Thomas G. Elliot, SSO director and conductor. The first part of the program will include 200 fourth-eighth grade musicians from area schools playing with the 50-member affiliated SSO Youth Orchestra which includes students up to college age, and the 60-member SSO. "Every spectrum of the community is represented."

On Armed Forces Day and a week before Memorial Day, "The concert has music with a decidedly Americana theme," Elliot said, including John Williams' 1984 Los Angeles "Olympic Fanfare"; "Chester," a first popular Revolutionary War marching song; and a medley of John Phillip Sousa marches.

SSO highlights include an "Armed Forces Salute" (the official songs of the U.S. Army, Coast Guard, Marines, Air Force and Navy); a special jazz tribute to Duke Ellington celebrating that unique American art form; and Richard Rodgers' "Victory at Sea," commemorating World War II triumph in the Pacific.

The nostalgic night concludes with a spectacular Arthur Feidler, Boston Pops style finale of the "1812 Overture," "Stars and Stripes Forever" and fireworks.

"This is the 20th year of Coastal Hospice serving the community. We thought we ought to do something really special," said Susan Purnell, chair of Friends of Coastal Hospice. "We've had unbelievable community support," added Kaye Thomas, chair of the event.

Monies raised for the SSO will provide support for its concert season. Monies raised for Coastal Hospice will help those people who can't afford hospice care. "We don't turn people away," said Purnell. (Coastal Hospice serves Wicomico, Worcester, Somerset and Dorchester counties.)

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students 18 and under. Prior to the concert is a party, "Savor Goes to the Stadium" with light fare, wine and beer, and entertainment. Tickets for "Savor" are $50, and include special seating for the evening festivities.

All tickets are on sale at Perdue Stadium during regular business hours, Peninsula Bank in Salisbury, Princess Anne, Ocean City and Ocean Pines, and Coastal Hospice. Bank of the Eastern Shore in Talbot and Dorchester counties are also ticket outlets. For more information call 410-742-9672 or 410-208-9419.

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