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Maryland Symphony Orchestra’s Salute to Independence at Antietam National Battlefield Cancelled

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – May 12, 2020 – The Maryland Symphony Orchestra, after reviewing the recently released Maryland Strong: Roadmap to Recovery and consulting with the National Park Service and local government and health officials, has determined that the 35th annual Salute to Independence scheduled for this July 4th at Antietam Battlefield cannot be held.  For thirty-four years this concert and fireworks display has been the largest event of the MSO season, and perhaps the largest single day event in Washington County.  But the size of the event, combined with unpredictable nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, require us to put the safety of our audience and musicians ahead of all other concerns. 

We thank all of our sponsors, donors, partners, and vendors who have always made the concert so successful and look forward to working with them again in the future to celebrate the birth and independence of our beloved United States of America through great orchestral music. 

MSO Music Director Elizabeth Schulze shared on behalf of the whole MSO family, “It’s always a privilege to perform at Antietam and we will truly miss our shared musical celebration there this summer.”  

Antietam National Battlefield Superintendent Susan Trail added, “We have always looked forward to working with the MSO to host the annual Salute to Independence.  Given the present situation, however, it is important that we put the health and safety of our visitors and staff first."

For the past several weeks, the MSO has been finding new ways to fulfill its mission to provide musical performances and programs that educate and entertain while enhancing the cultural environment of Western Maryland and the surrounding region.  We have launched a weekly online broadcast of archived concert recordings, entitled “MSO Encore!”, and musicians are creating educational videos and live video master classes for use by Washington County Public Schools to supplement the distance learning arts curriculum.

Plans are underway for additional digital content, as well as modifications to the timing and structure of the 2020-2021 season in order to provide our community with the best programming possible while keeping them safe and healthy.  For information and updates, please visit our web or Facebook page.


Founded in 1982, Maryland Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 38th season as the area’s premier professional orchestra.  Under the musical direction of Maestra Elizabeth Schulze, the Maryland Symphony Orchestra is dedicated to providing musical performances that educate and entertain, while enhancing the cultural environment of Western Maryland and the surrounding region. Learn more: