Press Room

Houston Symphony Celebrates Fourth of July with Free Musical Extravaganza at Miller Outdoor Theatre

HOUSTON (June 27, 2017) – The Houston Symphony will celebrate Independence Day at Miller Outdoor Theatre on July 4 with a free musical extravaganza featuring patriotic tunes and a magnificent firework display.

A longstanding Houston tradition, this year’s Star-Spangled Salute features vocalist Ryan Shaw and a selection of patriotic favorites, American Classics, sing-alongs, and Tchaikovsky’s “1812 Overture” led by Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke. The evening’s festivities conclude with a magnificent firework display provided by the City of Houston through the Miller Theatre Advisory Board.

“Every year, our musicians look forward to this grand celebration where families and friends come together to celebrate the greatness of our country and the beautiful city in which we live,” said Principal POPS Conductor Steven Reineke. “I encourage all Houstonians to join us in this long-standing family tradition and experience the Houston Symphony in a whole new way.”

Admission is free, but tickets are required for the covered seated area. Tickets are available at the Miller Theatre Box Office the day of the performance between 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Any remaining tickets are released one hour before the performance time. Visit for more information.

An additional Star-Spangled Salute performance will take place at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion July 3. The July 4 performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre will be broadcast live on KUHF News 88.7 FM, Houston Public Media Classical 88.7 HD-2, and online by visiting

Miller Outdoor Theatre
Tuesday, July 4, 8:30 p.m.
Steven Reineke, conductor
Ryan Shaw, vocalist

About Steven Reineke
Steven Reineke’s boundless enthusiasm and exceptional artistry have made him one of the nation’s most sought-after pops conductors, composers and arrangers. In addition to being Principal POPS Conductor Designate of the Houston Symphony, he is music director of The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall and principal pops conductor of the National Symphony Orchestra and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. He previously held the posts of principal pops conductor of the Long Beach and Modesto Symphony Orchestras and associate conductor of the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra.

Steven is a frequent guest conductor with The Philadelphia Orchestra and has been on the podium with the Boston Pops, The Cleveland Orchestra and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra at Ravinia, among other leading orchestras.

As the creator of more than 100 orchestral arrangements for the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, his works have been performed worldwide and can be heard on numerous CPO recordings (Telarc). His symphonic works Celebration Fanfare, Legend of Sleepy Hollow and Casey at the Bat are frequently performed. His Sun Valley Festival Fanfare commemorated the Sun Valley Summer Symphony’s pavilion. In the 2015–16 season, the National Symphony Orchestra premiered his The True Story of the Three Little Pigs.

A native of Ohio, Steven is a graduate of Miami University of Ohio, where he earned bachelor of music degrees with honors in trumpet performance and music composition. He currently lives in New York City with his husband, Eric Gabbard.

About Ryan Shaw
Ryan Shaw, born December 25, 1975, in Decatur, Georgia, grew up in a deeply religious Pentecostal family. He began singing in church at age 5 and later formed a family group, the Shaw Boys, with four of his brothers. “We didn’t listen to secular or pop music either in or out of our house,” he explains. “So my early musical influences are all from the gospel world—singers like Darryl Coley, Keith Brooks, James Moore and The Anointed Pace Sisters.”

After briefly attending Georgia State University, Ryan successfully auditioned for the gospel musical A Good Man Is Hard to Find (Part 2). In 1998, he joined the cast of I Know I’ve Been Changed, written and directed by Tyler Perry. Ryan went to New York with this production and performed to sold-out crowds at the Beacon Theatre.

He soon joined the resident cast of the Motown Café on West 57th Street where he performed Detroit soul favorites by the Four Tops and Marvin Gaye. Later he found another steady gig with a group that played music from the fifties and sixties. In 2004, Ryan was recruited into the Fabulous Soul Shakers, a vocal group specializing in classic soul and doo-wop. Two years later, along with guitarist Johnny Gale and percussionist Jimmy Bralower, he recorded “Do the 45” and “I Found a Love.” The collaboration proved to be heaven-sent.

Ryan delivers every song with the kind of emotional commitment and vocal panache that have nearly vanished from the mainstream musical landscape. On stage, he brings it all together with a combination of Southern warmth and New York vitality. Using a small rhythm section and two male backing vocalists, he effectively reproduces the sound of his album while stretching some tunes into full-on vocal rave-ups. Ryan’s thrilling voice and charismatic presence are all he needs to win an audience. There’s no posturing or mindless booty-shaking, no need for contrived antics: Ryan Shaw is the real deal.

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