The free Philharmonic summer concert is back. So says the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, which oversees Heckscher State Park, where the concert had been held for 32 years until the State Senate failed to pass funding during last year's leadership imbroglio.

Sponsored by the Islip Arts Council, the concert featured the New York Philharmonic until the orchestra pulled out last summer, citing economic issues.

The Long Island Philharmonic stepped into the breach only to be denied when an appropriation for the concert was caught up in the Senate deadlock that blocked all votes.

"The philharmonic is thrilled the planets have aligned and the funding has gone through this time," Long Island Philharmonic executive director Stephen Belth said Thursday.

Music director David Stewart Wiley will conduct the philharmonic in an all-American program starting at 8 p.m. July 17. The musical bill of fare includes selections from "West Side Story," "Satchmo! A Tribute to Louis Armstrong" and "The Music Man," plus works by Long Island composers - from George M. Cohan and Morton Gould to Billy Joel. Grucci fireworks provide the encore.

Admission is free, but only if you hoof it into the park. There's a $10 parking fee until 5 p.m., a suggested $10 donation after 5.

Concertgoers are encouraged to bring nonperishable food items to be distributed by Long Island Cares.

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