A Capitol Fourth
July 5, 2012 by staff
A Capitol Fourth, This year’s “A Capitol Fourth,” the PBS Independence Day celebration that will be broadcast live at 8 tonight from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., promises to be “the biggest one yet,” said Jerry Colbert, the program’s executive director. Colbert — who grew up in Boylston and graduated from St. John’s High School in Shrewsbury and the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester — should know since he founded the show and has overseen every broadcast since the first in 1981.
“So far I feel pretty good about it,” Colbert said during a recent telephone interview as he took a brief break from preparations.
Tom Bergeron is the host for 2012, and he will introduce a cast that includes “American Idol” winner Phillip Phillips, Broadway/movie/TV stars Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara and Megan Hilty, singer-songwriter Javier Colon, country music star Josh Turner, R&B superstars Kool & the Gang, world-renowned tenor Russell Watson, composer John Williams, and the National Symphony Orchestra. The show airs locally from 8 to 9:30 p.m. on Channel 2.
This year, the audience will include the South High Community School marching band from Worcester, which is in D.C. to march in the July Fourth parade earlier in the day.
“There’s something for everyone,” Colbert said. “A huge crowd and no rain will make it even better.”
An outdoors audience for the July Fourth concert of about 400,000 people is pretty much a given based on the usual turnout. But with that “no rain” remark, Colbert may have had something lingering in his memory. To be precise, this year’s broadcast of the National Memorial Day Concert from the West Lawn, an event he also initiated and has been in charge of since 1990.
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