The Utah Symphony is going alfresco for its seventh annual appearance at Wolf Mountain's Music in the Mountains series.
Saturday's outdoor concert, one of several the symphony presents around the area during the summer months, will celebrate America and the patriotic spirit, with a program that features marches, military themes and more.
The concert coincides with an all-expenses-paid retreat of military families who have a mom or dad about to be deployed. The Wolf Mountain concert series profits help fund these retreats for Hill Air Force Base families.
Jamie Allyn, who has played bass for 34 years for the Utah Symphony, said he likes the part of this show where the orchestra plays the Armed Forces Salute, featuring all branches of the service's military themes -- "The Caisson Song" (Army), "Semper Paratus" (Coast Guard), Marine's Hymn, "Wild Blue Yonder" (Air Force) and "Anchors Aweigh" (Navy).
"That is always kind of a popular one because the conductor usually has the people who served, and sometimes their families, stand up to be acknowledged during their theme." said Allyn. "You get a lot of retired veterans, which is really nice to see."
For Allyn, the medley holds a personal moment. Kenneth Kuchner, who played in the string section of the symphony until his death a couple of years ago, would stand and play as the symphony played "The Caisson Song."
"He actually was in World War II and served in and around the Battle of the Bulge," said Allyn. "I used to like when he stood for his branch, so it makes it kind of a bittersweet moment when we play that piece now."
The program also touches on pieces that should be familiar to most folks, not just those strictly fond of classical fare.
The orchestra will do two John Williams tunes, including "March From 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' " and also the theme he wrote for the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics. Also on the bill is "Fanfare for the Common Man" by Aaron Copland.
"That one is popular and loud," said Allyn of the Copland compostition. "The kids seem to love that, because the drums and brass get very loud. We string players are mostly just watching that one."
Allyn said he enjoys working outside in the summertime, despite a few challenges you won't find indoors. For instance, it doesn't typically rain on Abravanel Hall's stage, as it did just prior to last year's Wolf Mountain show.
"But those people are so nice at Wolf Mountain," he said. "I remember staff having to take towels out to dry the stage so we could put instruments down. But the crowd took it in stride. They have a lot of fortitude."
He added that, though he grew up in Los Angeles and Canada, he has thoroughly enjoyed the life he has made in Salt Lake City, and playing with the symphony.
"It is home now, and I love this symphony," he said. "I have two kids and they have enjoyed it here. It has been a good life, and hopefully it'll last a little longer. I am proud and glad to be part of it."