Because we supplied the 9' Steinway grand piano for the nation's 30th celebration of the 4th of July, our family was invited to view the party from 12th row seats. Wow, what a great time we had!
Jimmy Smits was the master of ceremonies, and he did a fine job. His comment that his family came here as immigrants--and that America had been very good indeed to the Smits family--touched the hearts of the audience members. It was a timely reminder that most of us came here from another country, and that we owe a lot to this great country.
David Archuleta did a beautiful job with The Star Spangled Banner.
Then Gladys Knight led a rousing "Heard It Through the Grapevine" and got everyone rocking.
Of course, our family was particularly thrilled by Lang Lang, the young Chinese genius. David and I had heard him play the "Stars and Stripes Forever" before, but this time with the Washington Monument in the background, it was a special treat. His hands move so fast as he does the counterpoint of the Sousa melody. Did you know that every instrument has a melody line in a Sousa march? I loved how Lang Lang's fingers were reflected in the fall board of the piano. They took off the lid, and the shots of the inside of the piano with those fabulous strings was totally cool.
Reba McEntire was the last big name performer of the evening. Her voice was as glorious and uniquely American as her looks. I particularly enjoyed her gorgeous blue sequined dress.
The 1812 Overture never sounded better than when fireworks were bursting over the stately white Washington Monument. The obelisk looked like a giant sparkler lighting up the sky!
PS Being a mystery writer, I couldn't help but wonder when they used an ice pick to chisel the ice that went into the water coolers. After all the security precautions, an ice pick? Yeow! Oh, and the huge hanging Jumbotron got me thinking, "What if a cable breaks?" I mean, the mind of a mystery author never rests.