Glenn Beck

Conservative commentator Glenn Beck speaks during the 2014 Freedom Fire celebration at Romney Stadium in Logan, Utah.

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Conservative commentator Glenn Beck has had a lot of guests at his Weston, Idaho, ranch this month while filming parts of what he’s billing as an “epic” Independence Day television special.

With a row of school buses visible in the distance, a photo on Beck’s Facebook page this week featured himself and his wife, Tania, standing on a hillside at sunset overlooking more than 100 gathered members of the performance group known as Millennial Choirs & Orchestras. Later in the week, another photo showed a film crew at the Standing Rock Ranch working with Beck and a small girl in a white dress.

“Filming the words of The Covenant this afternoon for next week’s special …” Beck wrote above the picture. “I believe it is the best television I have ever produced and perhaps the best piece of writing I have ever done. The film crew is relentlessly perfect and the music is Grammy worthy. All of this on top of what I believe is jaw dropping history lessons and a real plan of hope.”

The program is scheduled to air over Beck’s television network, Blaze TV, at 6 p.m. MDT on Thursday, July 2. It will be anchored at the ranch and feature live segments from New York City, Philadelphia and the historic sites at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Plymouth, Massachusetts.

The Millennial Choirs & Orchestras is an organization of some 5,000 singers and instrumentalists, both adult and children, with separate ensembles in Utah, Idaho, Arizona, Texas and California. Beck performed with the group in 2013, narrating a patriotic and religious program featuring music by MCO founder Brett Stewart.

Group members who participated in the evening performance at Beck’s ranch offered glowing reviews of the experience on Facebook, but a performer reached by The Herald Journal declined to give further details of the project, citing a nondisclosure agreement.

Beck originally planned a “massive” three-day gathering in Gettysburg to celebrate Independence Day 2020, but the event was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The outspoken television and radio host was at the center of a July 4th controversy in Cache Valley in 2014 after a last-minute decision to add him as a speaker at Logan’s Freedom Fire celebration drew objections from three Municipal Council members.

Holly Daines, Herm Olsen and Jennie Simmonds issued a statement on the day of the show saying they believed taxpayer-funded events like Freedom Fire should be void of any political overtones, and they later introduced a resolution to this effect.

During his 10-minute talk at Romney Stadium, Beck steered clear of any overt political statements, choosing instead to focus his talk on patriotism in general and America’s Founding Fathers.

Charlie McCollum is the managing editor of The Herald Journal. He can be reached at cmccollum@hjnews.com or 435-792-7220.

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