American spirit live on Fifth Street

Gilroy – The Fourth of July may have passed, but locals can attend the Fifth Street Live concert to rejuvenate their patriotic spirits this Friday.

That’s because the Morgan Hill Wind Symphony will play a variety of patriotic tunes and American folk songs. The Wind Symphony has a knack for playing a variety of music, from classical and swing, to marches and show tunes.

“The best thing I like about the group is that we have a wide range of age and ability level, but by far, they are able to read difficult literature,” said Vernon Miyata, principal conductor. “As a conductor, it’s just a pleasure to hear them perform.”

Themed “American Portraits,” the concert will be began at 7pm Friday on Fifth Street, between Eigleberry Street and Monterey Road.The concert is part of Fifth Street Live, a series of outdoor concerts sponsored by the Gilroy Downtown Business Association and the Theater Angels Art League.

Morgan Hill Wind Symphony started off as a church group in 1992 but extended to the community. The band averages 35 to 40 members who come from as far as San Jose and Salinas. The band rehearses regularly at the Morgan Hill Presbyterian Church, and members range from ages 13 to the mid-60s.

The concert will be the seventh of 10 scheduled Fifth Street Live concerts. Following Wind Symphony’s performance, locals can check out Rio, performing Latin rock Aug. 12, a rock show by Interstate Aug. 19 and a Pan American Serenade by Candace Fazzio & Friends Aug. 26.

Larry Mickartz, vice president of Gilroy Downtown Business Association, said Fifth Street Live has been successful in drawing crowds downtown.

“It’s been doing really well,” said Mickartz who said one of measures of its success is the selling of raffle tickets for prizes. “Things have certainly picked up.”

Morgan Hill Wind Symphony’s next performance will be in the end of September. If anyone is interested in joining the band, they can contact Vernon Miyata at 408-297-2581.

The concert will be held Friday at 7 to 8:30pm on Fifth street, between Eigleberry and Monterey. Admission is free, but music lovers must bring their own chairs. Local eateries will be opened before and after the concert.

By Joanna Parsons Special to the Dispatch

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