The Huntsville Symphony Orchestra will kick off its Pops series with a salute to the veterans.

The Battle on the Big Screen will take place Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Von Braun Center’s Mark C. Smith Concert Hall and feature music from movies that were inspired by war.

“It’s going to a wonderful concert,” Judy Link, a trustee with the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, said. “The music is going to be fabulous.”

The concert will start with an arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner” by Luigi Zaninelli, then proceed with the “Prelude to The 49th Parallel” by Ralph Vaughan Williams.

“The 49th Parallel” was a 1941 British film that was released in the U.S. in 1942 under the name “The Invaders.” In it, the title refers to the border between the United States and Canada. It was the hope of Michael Powell, the film’s director, that the film would persuade the U.S. to enter World War II.

The concert will then continue with a piece written in response to the United States entering World War II – “Fanfare for the Common Man” by Aaron Copland.

During World War I, Eugene Goossens, conductor of the Cincinnati Orchestra, had asked British composers to write a fanfare to open each concert with. The fanfares were a hit. So, during World War II, he asked American composers to do the same thing. Of all of the fanfares written as part of Goossens’ request, “Fanfare for the Common Man” is the only one that’s is regularly played today.

No musical program honoring the armed forces would be complete without an arrangement of “Armed Forces Salute.” The orchestra will play one by Bob Lowden and it will feature “The Caisson Song,” “Semper Paratus,” “Marine’s Hymn,” “The U. S. Air Force and “Anchors Aweigh.”

The concert will continue its upbeat tempo with “March for Midway,” which will be followed by the “Suite from Band of Brothers” by Michael Kamen.

The show will conclude with “Hymn to the Fallen,” from Saving Private Ryan, by John Williams.

“The contributions of veterans are foundational to our community and our national identity,” Dan Halcomb, CEO of the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, said. “Veterans have inspired some of the greatest films ever made: Platoon, Gettysburg, and Saving Private Ryan, for example. Battle on the Big Screen will feature a variety of thrilling music, much of it drawn from blockbusters of the genre. The concert will inspire and uplift, but it’s also a moving tribute to the sacrifice made by real-life heroes who heard the call and answered.”

Other pieces to be performed include “Colonel Bogey March from The Bridge on the River Kwai,” by Kenneth J. Alford; “Bugler’s Holiday,” by Leroy Anderson; “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” by John Philip Sousa; “The Ride of the Valkyries” from Die Walküre, by Richard Wagner; “Suite from The Patriot,” by John Williams; “Tara,” from Gone With the Wind, by Max Steiner; “Main Title from Gettysburg,” by Randy Edelman; and “Adagio for Strings,” by Samuel Barber.

Veterans can use the code VETS11 to get $11 off of the ticket price and tickets can be purchased at https://www.hso.org.

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