A Spectacular Show at Greenfield Village’s “Salute to America”

The Detroit Symphony Orchestra performs "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Greenfield Village's "Salute to America." (Jerome Rzucidlo/AmericaJR)

Dearborn, Mich. — The Henry Ford’s Greenfield Village presented a “Salute to America” featuring the Detroit Symphony Orchestra from July 2-5, 2024.  Again this year, it was the perfect day, cloudy skies with temperatures in the mid-80’s.

There were many musical performances throughout the Village.  Our first stop was the Ragtime piano music in front of the Edison Statue performed by Taslimah Bey.  I love that piano music.

On the Eagle Tavern porch was the dulcimer and fiddle music performed by Ranka Mulkern and Neil Woodward.  The dulcimer is a string instrument typically with three or four strings originally played in the Appalachian region of the United States.  It has a rather soft sound this is pleasant to the ear. 

Next was the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Youth Jazz Band at the Detroit Central Market.  The Central Market served as a vegetable shed with vendors from 1861 to 1894.  The structure was moved from Belle Isle and was slated for demolition until Henry Ford acquired it.   It opened in Greenfield Village in 2022. 

The Dodworth Saxhorn Band is a 19th-century brass band that played in front of the Ford Motor Company which was founded by Henry Ford and incorporated in 1903.

On the Adams Family home porch was the Village Cruisers that played medleys from the 1950’s.  There were dressed in 1950 garb and sang some of my favorite songs from that era.

Traditional blues music was performed by Rev. Robert Jones at the Mattox family home.  He described rural life in 1930’s Georgia  and sang songs from the African-American genre of blues, R&B, gospel and jazz leading up to today.  He was a character; very funny and put on a good show.

My husband and I also rode the 1913 Herschell-Spillman Carousel.  It reminded me of my childhood.  Oh how I loved carousels and carnivals.

I happened to catch the 1st Michigan Colonial Fife & Drum Corps as they paraded down Main Street and around the Village Green.  Fife and drums played from sunrise to sunset to boost morale and served as a primary mode of communication from commander to troops during the battle of the Revolutionary War.  The high-pitched sound of the fife made a perfect pairing for the drum as it could be heard over the noise of combat.

The main attraction was the performance by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra conducted by Larry Loh.  His musical career as a conductor has spanned all over the world.  The DSO began with The Star Spangled Banner, as everyone stood up and sang along.  They also played several songs from composer, John Williams, such as the Olympic Fanfare and theme, the Cowboys Overture and The Raiders March from the Raiders of the Lost Ark movie.  America the Beautiful was played as we watched a video of all the beautiful scenic places of this great country.

The fireworks began afterwards, and what a spectacular show that was.  Hope everyone had a wonder 4th of July, I know I did.

For more info about “Salute to America” at Greenfield Village, visit: https://www.thehenryford.org/current-events/calendar/salute-to-america.

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