Thousands of Long Island residents gathered once again to "Celebrate our Hometown Heroes" at Long Island's premiere concert under the stars on Saturday night, July 14, 2018. The Long Island Orchestra, led by world-renowned conductor David Stewart Wiley, was truly wonderful and had a few surprises for the audience as they performed a wonderful program that included the traditional ''Armed Forces Salute,'' the beautiful Suite from ''West Side Story,'' and a tribute to Louis Armstrong.
Special guest vocalist Brentwood High School senior Marilyn Parada accompanied the orchestra for ''The Star Spangled Banner'' at the beginning of the concert. The program also featured ''American Tapestry,'' written by local composer Reynard Burns. The evening was topped off with the always incredible Grucci fireworks punctuating ''1812 Overture,'' ''Colonel Bogey March,''and ''The Stars & Stripes Forever.''
Mrs. Lillian Barbash, the founder of the Islip Arts Council, first brought the NY Philharmonic to Heckscher State Park over thirty-five years ago. This concert is an important part of Long Island's cultural landscape and has been for many years.