Packard bands play two holiday weekend concerts

The W.D. Packard Concert Band will celebrate Independence Day tonight with a bang and Saturday with a dance.

The band will mix patriotic fare with pop for the holiday show, conducted by Stephen L. Gage.

Frequent guest vocalist Helen Welch will perform “This Could Be the Start,” “My Foolish Heart,” “The Best Things in Life Are Free” “The House I Live in” “I’m Gonna Live ‘Til I Die” and The Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love.”

The band will play music from the score of the Disney / Pixar film “The Incredibles,” a medley of polka songs, John Philip Sousa’s “Circus Galop” and the Queen hit “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

Patriotic selections will include Earl McCoy’s “Sons of Uncle Sam” march, Morton Gould’s “Yankee Doodle,” an Armed Forces salute and a medley of American songs.

The concert will conclude with Peter Tchaikovsky’s “The Year 1812” festival overture and Sousa’s “Stars and Stripes Forever,” followed by a fireworks show from Zambelli Fireworks Internationale.

The concert starts at 8 p.m. today at the south lawn band shell of Packard Music Hall, 1703 Mahoning Ave. NW, Warren.

On Saturday the Big Band Sound of Packard, directed by Daniel Carioti, will provide the soundtrack for a big band dance on the lawn. Welch will sing with the band, and the program will draw from a repertoire that includes “Strike Up the Band,” “The Beat Goes On,” “When You’re Smiling” “The Jitterbug Waltz,” “On the Sunny Side of the Street” and “Spellbound.”

The dance starts at 7:30 p.m.

Both events are free, and funding is provided by the W.D. Packard trust.