Sketched July 4, 2019

The Seattle Civic Band, a recreational ensemble that has been entertaining the region for more than 25 years, drew a big crowd to the Ballard Locks on Thursday for its traditional Fourth of July concert.

A few hundred people congregated on the lush grounds of the Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden to listen to a rousing selection of patriotic songs, from “The Star Spangled Banner” to “America the Beautiful” and “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” Some sat on folding chairs set up for the occasion, while many others brought their own.

At the end of the hourlong performance, as a number of spectators lined up to thank band conductor Brian Rascon for the lively show, I seized the chance to draw his portrait.

Rascon, 33,  is a high-school band director in the Kent School District. He said this concert is always a highlight in the Seattle Civic Band’s calendar. “The outdoor setting is perfect,” he said, “everyone is relaxing on the lawn and enjoying the live music.”

If you’ve never experienced a concert at the Locks, you haven’t missed out entirely yet. Summertime concerts on the garden grounds are held every Saturday and Sunday until Labor Day, and they are free! Most feature marching bands and jazz ensembles, but other music genres, including pop, Brazilian samba and ukulele, also appear in the schedule this year. For more information, you may download the schedule from the official U.S. Army Corps of Engineers site.