Music of Springsteen - Program Notes cover

Music of Springsteen - Program Notes


Celebrate the Fourth with this high-energy tribute to “The Boss,” America’s most iconic singer-songwriter. Pacific Symphony welcomes Matt Ryan & The American Dream to center stage, seasoned musicians famous for recreating Bruce Springsteen’s marathon, party-like shows. You’ll be on your feet cheering for such hits as “Born in the USA,” “My Hometown” and “Hungry Heart.” And no July 4th evening is complete without the Symphony's traditional salute to the U.S. Armed Forces and patriotic favorites, before closing with a brilliant fireworks finale.
To learn more about Richard Kaufman, the Principal Pops Conductor, please click here.
To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars on 1 review

NoteStream NoteStream

NoteStreams are readable online but they’re even better in the free App!

The NoteStream™ app is for learning about things that interest you: from music to history, to classic literature or cocktails. NoteStreams are truly easy to read on your smartphone—so you can learn more about the world around you and start a fresh conversation.

For a list of all authors on NoteStream, click here.

Read the NoteStream below, or download the app and read it on the go!

Music of Springsteen - Program Notes



Henry Mancini (1924-1994)

The Great Race: The Great Race March

Edwin Eugene Bagley (1857-1922)

National Emblem March

Francis Scott Key (1779-1843)

The Star-Spangled Banner

Richard Rodgers (1902-1979)

Carousel: Carousel Waltz

Dmitri Tiomkin (1894-1979)

Friendly Persuasion: The Fair

John Williams (b. 1932)

Selections from Star Wars:

Forest Battle from Return of the Jedi

Throne Room & Finale


Bruce in the USA:

Music of Bruce Springsteen

Matt Ryan & The American Dream


Armed Forces Salute

John Philip Sousa (1854-1932)

Washington Post March

Semper Fidelis

Stars and Stripes Forever



“Bruce in the USA” is much more than just another tribute…. This high-energy musical experience is a note-perfect and visually accurate recreation of a Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Show.

Matt Ryan, from the world famous “Legends in Concert” cast, began playing the Springsteen character in 2000, in “Legends” full-scale Las Vegas show. The great success in the famous Las Vegas show brought him to performances across the world, eventually evolving his character into the Bruce in the USA show.

The “Bruce in the USA” band consists of seasoned world-class professional musicians. The show has hosted musicians who have performed with Queen and Paul Rodgers, Meat Loaf, Blue Öyster Cult, Hall & Oates, Joe Cocker, The O’Jays, Aretha Franklin, David Cassidy, The Temptations, Slash and so many more. This high-end powerhouse band has taken this genre of performance art to a whole new level, making it the world’s number one tribute to the E Street Band’s musical legacy.

Bruce Springsteen: Born To Run, Here To Stay

When a singer-songwriter sells out sports arenas, sells millions of records and becomes a household name, that’s success. When he performs at a presidential inauguration and receives the Presidential Medal of Freedom, that’s something else again: proof that his artistry has become a permanent and indispensable part of our shared cultural heritage.

Bruce Springsteen has been classified as a folk rocker and a protest singer, but his songs express the American experience in a way that extends beyond such categories.

Springsteen and his peers, Pete Seeger and Bob Dylan among them, are often called “Woody’s Children” in deference to Woody Guthrie, the man who connected the tradition of American roots music with a modern impulse to sing out about what’s on our minds.

In Springsteen’s case, that can be about life on the job or on the streets, the tragedy of 9/11, or—as in his “Dancing in the Dark”—getting nowhere just living in a dump like this. Yet for all the reality and the grit, there’s also optimism.

Springsteen’s songs communicate the strength and the dignity of real life and hard work… a sense that striving is worth it.

Like the crooner Frank Sinatra, who sang the background music of his childhood, Springsteen is a Jersey boy—born in in the town of Long Branch in 1949. But starting early on, his interest in music ran in a different direction.

Seeing Elvis on The Ed Sullivan Show made a huge impression on Springsteen, and his mother spent $18 for his first guitar, and soon he was performing at local venues such as the Elks Lodge in Freehold.

By the time he was 16, Springsteen was not only dead set on a career as a musical performer, but was also confident he would hit the big time. His mother borrowed $60 for his next guitar, a Kent.

When musicians talk about “paying their dues,” they mean the kind of life Springsteen and his band led through the late 1960s and into the early ‘70s, performing at small, remote venues and gradually building a reputation. It began with club dates in New Jersey, eventually leading to a gig at New York’s Hotel Diplomat, and eventually widened to include tours to Nashville and in California.

He started to build a following among discerning fans, who heard something new and authentic in his music. But in this case, the critics and producers were ahead of the public in recognizing a major new voice.

Springsteen continued to struggle despite being signed in 1972 by Clive Davis, the revered record-industry mogul. An admiring profile in the popular rock magazine Crawdaddy the following year, the first of three such articles, didn’t help much. The 1973 release of Springsteen’s second album confirmed the pattern: lavish critical praise, but low sales.

In retrospect, it’s clear that Springsteen’s career was building toward the breakthrough that came with his iconic album Born to Run, but the more than 14 agonized months of work that went into this recording seemed to foreshadow anything but success. The cuts Springsteen heard just didn’t reflect the sound that he wanted, and mounting expectations ran up against the brick wall of Springsteen’s uncompromising standards.

Its release on August 25, 1975, marked a milestone for the recording industry, but a date about two weeks earlier was even more important in Springsteen’s career: On August 13 he began a five-night stand of 10 shows at The Bottom Line, a Greenwich Village club where he felt at home as a performer.

Broadcast live on WNEW-FM, the series was later recognized by Rolling Stone magazine as one of “50 Moments That Changed Rock and Roll,” and it confirmed something vital about Springsteen and his music: Whether his audience is a hundred or a hundred thousand, he feels compelled to reach them with a personal, specific sound and message.

Two months after doing so at the Bottom Line, he appeared on the covers of Time and Newsweek magazines.

In the four decades since then, Springsteen has maintained a level of productivity that seems in line with the hard-working way of life he sings about. Phrases like “American troubadour” sometimes appear next to his name. They may seem stuffy and out of place, but you can’t blame writers for reaching for poetry now that he has become one of the most honored and widely heard recording artists of all time.

Bruce Springsteen has sold more than 64 million records in the U.S. and more than 120 million worldwide, and has won 20 Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award.

More than fifty years after he started writing and singing about what it’s like to be born in the U.S.A., he’s still doing it. And he still lives in New Jersey.

To learn more about Richard Kaufman, the Principal Pops Conductor, please click here.

To learn more about Music Director Carl St.Clair, click here.