Folk Duo Over the Rhine and American Idol's Melinda Doolittle Join Cincinnati Pops' Virtual July 4 Celebration

The Pops' annual Red, White & Boom Fourth of July show at Riverbend was canceled and moved online and will feature a free "hour-long program highlights the strength and diversity that is America"

click to enlarge Over the Rhine - Photo:
Over the Rhine

While we know you wanted to celebrate America's birthday in your red, white and blue regalia from the lawn of Riverbend while the Cincinnati Pops played patriotic tunes onstage this year, you're going to have to do it in front of your computer screen instead. 

The Pops' annual Red, White & Boom show was canceled this year and moved to the digital realm. 

"July 4th with The Pops has been a beloved tradition at Riverbend since the venue first opened on Independence Day in 1984," said Pops conductor John Morris Russell in a release about the cancellation. "Given these extraordinary times, we're moving the celebration online for friends and family to enjoy in Cincinnati, across the country and around the world."

But, here's the great news.

The Pops will be streaming a free patriotic show from the stage at Music Hall with guests Melinda Doolittle, of American Idol, and local favorite Folk duo Over the Rhine. A 30-member orchestra and the vocalists will perform renditions of songs representing a diverse array of American composers and genres.

"I am thrilled to be back working with the Cincinnati Pops this July 4, which is different for so many reasons. Not only is the global pandemic keeping us from a traditional gathering, but our country is feeling a tremendous amount of pain. We need music more than ever because it brings us together," Russell said. "This hour-long program highlights the strength and diversity that is America. From Women's Suffrage to Black Lives Matter to honoring our Armed Forces and the frontline heroes managing the current pandemic crisis the Pops will celebrate our core American values — perseverance, community and hope."

Doolittle will perform selections including "I'm a Woman" from Smokey Joe's Cafe and "Home" from The Wiz, along with a special duet of Stephen Foster's  "Hard Times Come Again No More" with Over the Rhine.

There will also be prerecorded contributions of Pops performances with Steep Canyon Rangers and the United States Army Chorus. 

The hour-long show will stream at 7 p.m. July 4 for free on the Pops' Facebook page, CSOvideo channel on YouTube and the Pops website.

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