The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic has a stated vision of enhancing the quality of life in the community so that all residents have the opportunity to be touched by live music in ways that are meaningful to them.

Since its formation in 1987, the Philharmonic has done this with concerts and special events, including the new Cabaret at The Commons series. The Philharmonic also provides educational opportunities and programs for children.

Among the Philharmonic’s high-quality musical offerings to the public, one of the most popular is the annual Salute! concert on the Bartholomew County Courthouse lawn each Memorial Day weekend. The season-ending free concert honors members of the armed forces who sacrificed their lives for their country.

The 16th edition on May 27, like usual, drew a large, appreciative crowd.

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A combination of beautiful music — this year featuring opera veteran Donata Cucinotta, inspirational words and solemn moments of remembrance combine to make the event patriotic and uplifting. And the orchestra’s rendition of “The 1812 Overture,” with howitzers firing for added punctuation, can’t be beat.

The Columbus Indiana Philharmonic has done a great job in touching residents in meaningful ways, and Salute! provides another example of the nonprofit organization’s importance to the community.