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As the sun set on the U.S. Capitol lawn, July 4, conductor Erich Kunzel ’60 AM led the National Symphony Orchestra in a Star Wars salute to composer John Williams. The event climaxed with Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, complete with live canon fire, and fireworks over the Mall. Kunzel, the longtime Cincinnati Pops conductor whom the Chicago Tribune dubbed “the Prince of Pops,” has been leading these free concerts on Memorial and Independence days since 1991. Sponsored by PBS, the concert was broadcast live nationally and for U.S. military personnel in more than 135 countries.





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