NEW PHILADELPHI -- The Tuscarawas Philharmonic will celebrate the end of summer--or perhaps the beginning of autumn--with a free concert under the stars. On Sunday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m., the orchestra will perform at the amphitheater at Tuscora Park, offering popular tunes and patriotic melodies.

As a special treat, they will welcome guest performer Mark Alan Wade. Wade is a National Hammered Dulcimer Champion who has played and taught the timeless instrument for 25 years. He has performed in Canada, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, and Taiwan. In the United States, he has performed for audiences of notables including President George Bush, Sr., President Bill Clinton, Ross Perot, and former U.S. Secretary of Defense William S. Cohen.

Along with the orchestra, Wade will perform a wide range of music--Vivaldi's Concerto for Lute, Copland's "Hoedown," and the 18th-century hymn tune "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing." With this varied selection, he'll demonstrate the versatility of the hammered dulcimer, one of the world's oldest instruments. With roots in the Near East dating back nearly 5,000 years, the instrument spread along the trade routes, being portable and adaptable to a variety of cultures and musical styles.

Along the way, the dulcimer found a place in China, in Spain, in Korea, and among the English who brought it to the Americas where it became a staple in folk music. It remains a fixture in American music to this day.

As the sun sets, the Philharmonic will also perform highlights from West Side Story, Phantom of the Opera, and Star Wars. They'll honor the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band with tunes from the Beatles, and they'll have some fun with Dudley Buck's take on the "National Anthem."

This annual performance is free to the audience thanks to the generous contributions of the following: Guarantors--RTY, Inc. and The John and Orlena Marsh Foundation; Sponsors--Barbour Publishing, Inc. and the City of New Philadelphia; Co-sponsor--Dutchman Hospitality Group.

Under the direction of Eric Benjamin, the Tuscarawas Philharmonic is a professional orchestra with adult and children choruses.

Tickets are now on sale for all performances of the 2017-18 season. Contact the Kent State Tuscarawas Performing Arts Center box office at 308-308-6400, or purchase tickets online at www.TuscarawasPhilharmonic.org.