Skip to main content

You are here

Maryland Symphony Orchestra to Present 33rd Salute to Independence Concert at Antietam National Battlefield; Announces Sponsors

HAGERSTOWN, Md. – June 25, 2018 – The 33rd Annual “Salute to Independence” concert, presented by the Maryland Symphony Orchestra, will be held on Saturday, July 7 at the Antietam National Battlefield, Sharpsburg. The free concert begins at 7:30 p.m.

Music Director Elizabeth Schulze has programmed a concert that will honor, through words and music, the men and women who have served our country in the past, and those who are currently members of the United States Armed Forces. The MSO will be performing such crowd pleasing favorites as Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture,” Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man,” the Armed Forces Salute, Sousa’s “Liberty Bell March” and “Stars and Stripes Forever”, and John Williams’ “Liberty Fanfare” and music from “Born on the Fourth of July.”

Additionally, the MSO will perform “Fanfare for Life” by Kimo Williams. Mr. Williams is a nationally recognized composer and Vietnam War veteran who hails from Chicago, IL and recently relocated to Shepherdstown, WV. "Fanfare for Life" was commissioned by AT&T and premiered May 6, 1994 by the Chicago Sinfonietta at Orchestra Hall in Chicago under the baton of Paul Freeman.

The “Salute to Independence” has become one of Maryland’s most patriotic outdoor events and Washington County’s largest, one-day tourism event, attracting nearly 30,000 people each year. In recent years it has been recognized by the American Bus Association as one of the “Top 100 Events in North America.”

Serving as Master of Ceremonies will be local entertainer and radio personality Ryan Smetzer. A proud resident of Washington County, Ryan serves as the Evening On-Air Personality and Digital Sales Specialist for MIX95.1/Alpha Media, and is the owner/head DJ of Ryan Smetzer Entertainment, and the Marketing Consultant/Assistant Producer for Antietam Recreation’s Dinner Shows. Ryan is a Class of 2013 graduate of the Barbara Ingram School for the Arts, where he performed in the school’s various musical productions including Legally Blonde: The Musical (Emmett), Beauty and the Beast (Gaston) and The Phantom of the Opera (Fermin). Ryan is also a proud alumni of Hagerstown Community College and Shippensburg University with a B.A. in Communication Journalism - Electronic Media.

At the opening of the concert, a C-17 Globemaster aircraft of the 167th Airlift Wing will fly over the stage at the conclusion of the Star Spangled Banner. The 167th Airlift Wing is located in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The unit has deployed to the four corners of the globe providing airlift and humanitarian support to the nation.

The evening will end with a spectacular fireworks display supported by PNC and produced by Bay Fireworks of Farmingdale, NY.

The 33rd annual Salute to Independence is made possible through the generosity of the following event partners and sponsors:

Event Partners
National Park Service, Antietam National Battlefield, and Washington County, MD

Fireworks Display
Presented through a grant from the PNC Foundation

Liberty Sponsor
The Alice Virginia and David W. Fletcher Foundation

Red, White and Blue Sponsors
Electromet Corporation and Herald-Mail Media

Victory Sponsors
Meritus Health, Inc., FirstEnergy Foundation

Patriot Sponsors
Hagerstown-Washington County Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Hamilton Family Foundation, and The Marlene & Mike Young Family

The Maryland Symphony Orchestra and “Salute to Independence” is supported in part by a grant from the Maryland States Arts Council, an agency dedicated to cultivating a vibrant cultural community where the arts thrive.

Antietam National Battlefield is one of America’s National Parks and is the site of the bloodiest one day battle in American history. On September 17, 1862, more than 23,000 soldiers were killed, wounded, or declared missing in action after 12 hours of savage combat. For more information on the battlefield,

Founded in 1982, Maryland Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 37th 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: