The U.S. Capitol hosted a July 4 concert on the west lawn (includes video story)

The day before July 4, the west lawn of the U.S. Capitol buzzed with activity as a production crew set up the stage and equipment for PBS’s annual “A Capitol Fourth” concert. Hosted by actor Alfonso Ribeiro, the concert featured musical performances by Smokey Robinson, Fantasia, Darren Criss, Fitz and The Tantrums, and more.

Rehearsals began at 9 a.m. and finished at 6:30 p.m. During this time, singers had the chance to fine-tune their performances before the full dress rehearsal later that evening. It was critical, as it was performed before a large audience the next day.

“We did a couple of rehearsals in L.A., just like the four dancers, and then Alfonso joined us,” said dancer Holden Maples. “Then we flew in and did a couple more rehearsals, and then did a little camera blocking on stage. Now, here we are.”

The dress rehearsal managed to captivate the audience with its precision and passion. The next night, the sky lit up with spectacular fireworks as all the performers came together to sing “God Bless America.”

Laura Palfrey is pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Digital TV and Multimedia Production. With a passion for storytelling and visual media, she aspires to work in television as a news producer upon graduation. Her hobbies include photography and traveling.