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Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular July 4th

July 4, 2020 @ 8:00 pm – 10:45 pm
City of Boston / Boston Pops

Press Release
The Boston Pops
22 May 2020

A Boston Pops Salute To Our Heroes

2020 July 4 program to spotlight some all-time favorite moments from recent Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular broadcases, including performances by Melissa Etheridge, Andy Grammer, Rhiannon Giddens, Arlo Guthris, Leslie Odom, Jr., Queen Latifa, Rita Moreno and Brian Stokes Mitchell, as well as an appearance by Amanda Gorman, the first Youth Poet Laureate of the United States.

A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes to feature new content, including a special virtual performance by Renese King with Keith Lockhart at the piano and the Boston Pops recent viral hit of Summon the Heroes with a special musical and spoken introduction by John Williams

Keith Lockhart To Put A Special Focus On Intrinsic Messages Of The Independence Day Holiday And Fundamental Themes Of Our Times Around Achieving A Just And Equal Society For Everyone Favorite Boston Pops July 4 Traditions—A Patriotic Sing-Along, The Stars And Stripes Forever, An Appearance By The U.S. Army Field Band And Soldiers Chorus, And The 1812 Overture To Fill Out The Program, With A retrospective Fireworks Extravaganza bringing the broadcast to a close.

The Boston Pops invites viewers to join in the Great American Picnic sweepstakes: Participants can snap a photo or video of their July 4 celebrations and post them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter and tag #GREATAMERICANPICNIC @thebostonpops to be entered into a sweepstakes to win great prizes— click here for more details.

In these challenging times of concert cancellations due to COVID-19, Boston Pops fans can now make a donation to the orchestra in just 10 seconds at


Newly created content will include virtual performances of Over the Rainbow by the Boston Pops Viola Section, the viral hit Summon the Heroes, Bugler’s Holiday by the BSO Trumpet Section, Lift Every Voice and God Bless America by Renese King (voice) and Keith Lockhart (piano), and a special video message from General James C. McConville, Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army and Quincy, MA native.

Favorite Boston Pops July 4 traditions – A Patriotic Sing-Along, The Stars and Stripes Forever, and appearance by the U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers Chorus, and the 1812 Overture – will fill out the program, with a retrospective Fireworks Extravaganza bringing the broadcast to a close.

The 2020 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular broadcast, under the direction Keith Lockhart, will present A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes, featuring both new content and retrospective highlights from many of the most beloved performers from the past three years. With America’s Orchestra taking center stage, the program will include the Boston Pops’ newly released video production and viral hit of John Williams’ Summon the Heroes, paying tribute to the healthcare workers, first responders, and other essential service providers who are the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic, and honoring the memories of those who have lost their lives during this crisis. [Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular] Opening with Brian Stokes Mitchell singing “America the Beautiful” and closing with the ever-popular fireworks extravaganza, the wide-ranging broadcast will also honor the great traditions of Boston’s Independence Day celebration with performances of Tchaikovsky’s “1812” Overture, “The Stars and Stripes Forever,” and the annual Patriotic Sing-Along, taken from broadcasts in 2017, 2018, and 2019. Boston Pops Conductor Keith Lockhart teams up with Bloomberg’s Kim Carrigan, Joe Shortsleeve, and Janet Wu to host the show.

Beloved performers from previous Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular Programs(in order of appearance):

  • Broadway legend Brian Stokes Mitchell sings “America the Beautiful” and “Wheels of a Dream”
  • Amanda Mena, America’s Got Talent semi-finalist from Lynn, MA sings Pink’s What About US and the national anthem with the U.S. Navy Sea Chanters
  • American folk-rock singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge performs her mega-hit “I Wanna Come Over”
  • Amanda Gorman, first-ever Youth Poet Laureate of the United States, performs a new take on the “Battle Hymn of the Republic” entitled “Believer’s Hymn for the Republic”
  • Broadway star Leslie Odom, Jr sings “Sarah” from The Civil War, and “Without You” from Rent
  • Grammy Award-winning artist Rhiannon Giddens, lead singer, violinist, banjo player, and a founding member of the acclaimed country, blues, and old-time music band the Carolina Chocolate Drops, performs her hits “Pretty Little Girl” and “She’s Got You”
  • Rita Moreno, iconic singer/actor/dancer and winner of the Academy Award for best supporting actress for the 1961 film version of West Side Story, narrates excerpts from Ellis Island: The Dream of America
  • Great American folk singer-songwriter, Arlo Guthrie and The Texas Tenors sing “This Land Is Your Land”
  • The incomparable Queen Latifah, American rapper, singer, songwriter, actress, and producer sings “Mercy, Mercy, Mercy”
  • Pop sensation Andy Grammer performs his hit “Give Love”
  • The U.S. Army Field Band and Soldiers’ Chorus join the Pops for “The Stars and Stripes Forever”


“All of us at the Boston Pops are pleased to have this opportunity to present A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes, a special broadcast that will pay tribute to the many frontline workers who continue to do so much to keep our communities safe and running during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“One of the positive things we have learned during the last few months is that even in the middle of a health crisis so many Americans are strong, resilient, helpful, and hopeful. It has been absolutely inspiring to see our frontline workers show such extraordinary dedication to the well-being of others, with their amazing acts of sacrifice, generosity, support, and kindness, as well as the incredible skill and know-how they bring to every situation.

“We also think it is essential to address one of the most crucial/fundamental themes of our times—the truth that we must do better as a people to confront racism and achieve a just and equal society for everyone throughout our country.

“These messages of honor, unity, diversity, equality, and fellowship will resound throughout the 2020 Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular broadcast by way of inspiring retrospective performances by our most popular artists of the last few years, side by side with brand new content developed over the last two months.

“We hope everyone throughout the country will gather around their televisions or radios, or watch the show on their phones or tablets, and join us as we show our appreciation for the heroes of our times and celebrate the intrinsic messages of Independence Day that unite us all in this great and beautifully diverse country.”


“Eaton Vance is proud to present A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes, continuing our sponsorship of the Boston Pops’ annual Fourth of July celebration. In these challenging days, I can think of no better way to commemorate our nation’s founding values of liberty and justice for all and pay tribute to the heroes of the COVID-19 pandemic than through the wonderful music of the Boston Pops.”


“We are honored to be a part of this year’s redesigned broadcast, A Boston Pops Salute to Our Heroes, which is especially meaningful, and will pay tribute to the front-line workers and those we’ve lost during the pandemic. We hope people will find special meaning watching from home, surrounded by family and friends, and taking time to celebrate our great nation, through the sound of beautiful music, talented artists, and the timeless magic of spectacular fireworks.”


“The Boston Pops’ spectacular July 4 celebration is a hallmark event for the Commonwealth and we are pleased they have found a way to still share this tradition in a different fashion due to COVID-19. Each year, the Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular unites residents from across the Commonwealth as they celebrate the founding of our nation, and we especially look forward to this year’s tribute honoring our frontline workers.”


“The Boston Pops Fireworks Spectacular is one of the City’s most beloved traditions and anticipated annual events. While a live concert and fireworks display are not possible this year due to the ongoing public health crisis, I am so glad that thanks to a host of partners who were determined to carry on this tradition, the show will go on in a new way. I encourage all residents who look forward to Boston’s Independence Day celebrations to embrace this year’s celebration with us, as we mark another moment in our nation’s history.”

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