The concert is broadcast LIVE from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, where there is always something interesting to see. Take a front seat to the 2013 "National Memorial Day Concert!"
The 2013 “National Memorial Day Concert” features award-winning stars and well-known personalities.
For over thirty years, Gary Sinise’s dedication to our nation’s active duty defenders, veterans and first responders has become a tireless crusade of support, service and gratitude to all those who serve and protect America. His portrayal of Lt. Dan Taylor in the landmark film “Forrest Gump” formed an enduring connection with servicemen and women throughout the military community. After embarking on USO handshake tours in 2003, Sinise formed the “Lt. Dan Band” which now performs nearly 50 concerts a year for military bases, charities and fundraisers. Sinise serves as spokesperson for the Disabled American Veterans and the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial Foundation, and was instrumental in the fundraising efforts of the Pentagon Memorial in Washington, D.C. and The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance in NYC. He also serves on the board of directors for Snowball Express, executive council for The Medal of Honor Foundation and the USO, and is an advisory board member for Hope for the Warriors. Among his many awards, Sinise has received the Bob Hope Award for Excellence in Entertainment from the Medal of Honor Society, the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Department of Defense's Spirit of Hope Award, and was named an honorary Chief Petty Officer by the Navy. In 2013, he received the Civic Statesmanship Award from the United States Former Members of Congress and the Easter Seals Advocacy Award. In June 2011, he launched the Gary Sinise Foundation (GarySiniseFoundation.org) as an extension of his individual efforts. Its mission is to serve and honor our nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need by creating and supporting unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. “Freedom and security are precious gifts that we, as Americans, should never take for granted,” says Sinise. “We must do all we can to extend our hand in times of need to those who willingly sacrifice each day to provide that freedom and security. While we can never do enough to show our gratitude to our nation’s defenders, we can always do a little more.” For more information, please visit Gary Sinise Foundation.
Joe Mantegna is a world-class and award-winning entertainer with a strong background in television, theater and film who returns to co-host the “National Memorial Day Concert” for his eighth consecutive year with Gary Sinise. Currently, Mantegna stars as FBI Special Agent David Rossi in season eight of the hit CBS drama “Criminal Minds”. He also currently has hosting and producing duties on “Gun Stories” for the Outdoor Channel. Mantegna’s acting credits are long and impressive and he has received critical acclaim for his performances. He has numerous Emmy nominations and was awarded the Tony and Joseph Jefferson Award for his acclaimed performance as Richard Roma in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Glengarry Glen Ross”. Some of Mantegna’s film and television highlights include: “House of Games,” “Searching for Bobby Fisher,” “Godfather III,” the role of Dean Martin in “The Ratpack” (for which he received both an Emmy and a Golden Globe nomination), the CBS mini-series “The Last Don”(for which he received his second Emmy nomination); the voice of “Fat Tony” on “The Simpsons” and the voice of “Grem” in “Cars2.” For two seasons, he starred with Mary Steenburgen and Amber Tamblyn in the critically acclaimed CBS drama “Joan of Arcadia,” winner of the 2004 People Choice Award for best new drama as well as picking up three Emmy nominations. In 2008, Mantegna reprised his Emmy nominated role of Lou Manahan opposite Debra Messing in the USA Network series “The Starter Wife”. He recently completed the feature films “The Bronx Bull,” “Ten Cent Pistol” and “Compulsion.” He also is co-producing a documentary on the late science fiction icon Ray Bradbury that is due out in 2013. With a rich family history in the military, Mantegna has long been a supporter of our men and women who serve. In May of 2012, he was appointed the National Spokesperson for The U.S. Army Museum, to lead the fundraising campaign to build the long-planned National Museum of the United States Army. Born and raised in Chicago, Mantegna lives in Los Angeles and, in April of 2011, received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For more information, visit www.joemantegna.com.
For over fifty years, General Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.) has devoted his life to public service. Having held senior military and diplomatic positions across four presidential administrations, Powell’s deep commitment to democratic values and freedom has been felt throughout the world. From 1987-1989 Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s National Security Advisor. He served from 1989-1993 as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for both President George H.W. Bush and for President Bill Clinton, and was not only the youngest officer and first ROTC graduate to ever serve in the position but was also the first African American to do so. During his time as Chairman, he oversaw 28 crises to include the Panama intervention of 1989 and Operation Desert Storm in the 1991 Persian Gulf War. Under President George W. Bush, Powell was appointed the 65th Secretary of State, leading the State Department in major efforts to address and solve regional and civic conflicts in the Middle East, Sudan, Congo and Liberia, in the Balkans, Haiti, Northern Ireland, Afghanistan, and elsewhere. Powell is the Founder of the Colin L. Powell Center for Leadership and Service at his alma mater, the City College of New York. The Center is student-focused with a mission to develop a new generation of publicly engaged leaders. He is the Founder and Chairman Emeritus of the America’s Promise Alliance, dedicated to forging a strong and effective partnership alliance committed to seeing that children experience the fundamental resources they need to succeed. Currently, Powell is a strategic limited partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, the renowned Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and is on the board of Bloom Energy. He is the Chairman of the Advisory Board of Leeds Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investments in the education, training, information and business services industries. He is also the Chairman of the Eisenhower Fellowships, a cross-cultural program for emerging international leaders. His autobiography, “My American Journey,” was a bestseller and has been published in more than a dozen languages. Powell’s second book, “It Worked For Me,” was an instant “New York Times” bestseller and reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career. For more information, follow Gen. Colin Powell on Facebook.
Ed Harris currently stars on screen in director Michael Bay’s “Pain and Gain” with Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson. His next film coming up is “The Face of Love” with Annette Bening for director Arie Posen.
Harris made his feature film-directing debut on “Pollock,” receiving an Academy Award nomination as Best Actor for his performance in the title role. His co-star, Marcia Gay Harden, won a Best Supporting Actress Oscar under his direction. Harris’ film credits include “Appaloosa” (director, co-screenwriter and star), “A History of Violence” (National Society of Film Critics Award), “The Hours” (Oscar, Golden Globe, SAG and BAFTA nominations), “Gone Baby Gone,” “The Truman Show” (Oscar nomination, Golden Globe Award), “Apollo 13” (Oscar and Golden Globe nominations, SAG Award), “Copying Beethoven,” “The Right Stuff,” “The Abyss,” “The Rock,” “The Human Stain,” “A Beautiful Mind,” “Stepmom,” “The Firm,” “A Flash of Green,” “Places in the Heart,” “Alamo Bay,” “Sweet Dreams,” “Jacknife,” “State of Grace,” “The Third Miracle,” and “Touching Home.” He recently collaborated again with director Peter Weir (“The Truman Show”), starring to critical acclaim in Weir’s epic adventure, “The Way Back.”
On television, Harris most recently starred with Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson in the Jay Roach-directed HBO film “Game Change,” winning a Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor along with Emmy and SAG nominations for his portrayal of John McCain. He starred with Paul Newman in the HBO miniseries “Empire Falls.” For his performance in the latter he received Emmy, Golden Globe and SAG nominations as Best Actor. His television credits include “The Last Innocent Man,” “Running Mates,” “Paris Trout,” and “Riders of the Purple Sage,” for which he and his wife Amy Madigan, as co-producers and co-stars, were presented with the Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Outstanding Television Feature Film.
At the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, Harris starred last year with Amy Madigan, Bill Pullman and Glenne Headley in the world premiere of playwright Beth Henley’s “The Jacksonian,” directed by Robert Falls. He received both an Outer Critics Circle Award nomination (Outstanding Solo Performance) and a Lucille Lortel Award nomination (Outstanding Solo Show) for the Off-Broadway production of “Wrecks” at New York City’s Public Theatre. He originated the role, with writer/director Neil LaBute, for the play’s world premiere at the Everyman Palace Theatre in Cork, Ireland and won the 2010 LA Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Solo Performance for the production of “Wrecks” at the Geffen Playhouse. His theatre credits include: Ronald Harwood’s “Taking Sides,” Sam Shephard’s plays “Fool for Love” (Obie), and “Simpatico” (Lucille Lortel Award for Best Actor), George Furth’s “Precious Sons” (Drama Desk Award), “Prairie Avenue,” “Scar,” “A Streetcar Named Desire,” “The Grapes of Wrath,” and “Sweet Bird of Youth.”
The newly crowned winner of the 12th season of “American Idol,” Candice Glover, won over the hearts of millions with her powerful voice and unforgettable performances. Now, the 23 year old singer from St. Helena Island, SC, will release her debut album, “Music Speaks” this summer. The album, anticipated for a July 16th release on 19 Recordings/Interscope Records, is available now for pre-order on the iTunes Store (www.iTunes.com/AmericanIdol). Fans who pre-order will instantly get Glover’s moving single and “American Idol” coronation song, “I Am Beautiful.” Glover’s debut CD is being rushed for pre-orders at www.candiceglover-official.com. Leading up to the album release, Glover has numerous performances and appearances including “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Live! with Kelly & Michael,” PBS’s 24th annual “National Memorial Day Concert,” and “A Capitol Fourth.“ Next, Glover embarks on the “American Idol Live!” 2013 concert tour. The 40-show tour kicks off June 29th in St. Louis, MO, and stops in major cities including, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami before wrapping in Nashville, TN. Tickets are on sale now via www.americanidol.com/tour and www.aeglive.com.
Ronan Tynan is possibly one of the most notable Irish Tenors to have made his home in the United States. His career is the story of legends, a “Renaissance Man” faced with numerous challenges he has persevered with enormous passion and determination. He first came to notoriety to the American public by a documentary done by Barbara Walters on “20/20.” Ronan is a qualified medical doctor and bilateral amputee. He is part of the world-renowned international group called The Irish Tenors. His best-known performances to the American public include: the “9/11 Memorial Tribute” at Yankee Stadium; while his interpretation of “God Bless America” has become one of the most recognized performances in the United States; sung with a depth of passion and sincerity, which he brings to everything he does. At the request of Nancy Reagan, Ronan was the only soloist to perform in Washington Cathedral for President Reagan’s funeral. More than 35 million people heard him sing “Amazing Grace” and Shubert’s “Ave Maria.” In 2005, he was requested by George Herbert Walker Bush to sing at President George W. Bush’s Inauguration at Washington National Cathedral. In 2005, Ronan released his self-titled album Ronan. It debuted on Billboard’s Classical Crossover chart and stayed on the charts for 52 weeks. He has 4 platinum albums. In 2009, Ronan performed for the troops in Afghanistan and on several occasions has visited rehabilitation centers throughout the United States giving motivation and guidance to these wonderful men and women at a most difficult time. Ronan has performed in several PBS specials over the last 12 years, most recently for Veterans Day in Bethesda, MD with the Air Force Symphony. In 2012, Ronan received the Ellis Island Medal of Honor, recognizing individuals who have made outstanding contributions to our nation. Ronan’s autobiography, “Halfway Home,” has sold over 2 million copies and has become part of the curriculum in many schools in America and Ireland. His current album “Memories of Ireland” which has been recently released is doing extremely well.
As one of the final two contestants on season 11 of “American Idol,” Jessica Sanchez shot to glory by belting out soaring ballads by the likes of Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston. Now, on her debut album for 19 Recordings/Interscope Records, the 17-year-old Sanchez elevates her vocal artistry to a bold new level and channels her powerhouse pipes into high-energy dance-pop. With its mix of slick beats and infectious melody, “Me, You & the Music” announces Sanchez as a masterfully-voiced songstress ready to rule the dance floor.
“The songs on my album show the more fun, more pop side of me — there’s a couple of ballads, but it’s mostly all about music you can move and dance to,” says Sanchez. To tap into that fresher sound, Sanchez teamed up with songwriter/producers like Harvey Mason Jr. (a six-time Grammy Award-winner who’s previously worked with Justin Timberlake, Chris Brown, and Britney Spears), Toby Gad (whose past credits include Fergie, Alicia Keys, and Kelly Clarkson), J.R. Rotem (Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Flo Rida, Rick Ross), The Underdogs (Beyoncé, Jennifer Hudson, Snoop Dogg), and Stargate (Ne-Yo, Wiz Khalifa, Katy Perry). Also featuring guest appearances by Grammy Award-winning songwriter/producer/R&B phenom Ne-Yo and Dominican singer-songwriter Prince Royce, “Me, You & the Music” finds Sanchez pushing into a stylish and sophisticated new direction while still showcasing the stunning vocal range that’s wowed audiences worldwide.
"Jessica Sanchez is one of the best voices I have ever worked with,” says producer Toby Gad. “I hear Beyonce, Jazmine Sullivan in her but also a new tone, completely relaxed but powerful and authentic through her wide range. I have been a fan from the first time I saw her on Idol and I am thankful that I could be part of this exciting project. I think we are witnessing the beginning of a long career. The 2014 Grammys should be hers for best new vocal."
The lead single from “Me, You & the Music,” “Tonight” feat. Ne-Yo, perfectly embodies the album’s blend of electro-kissed dance and escapist pop. “I feel very blessed to have worked with Ne-Yo—he’s just so gifted,” says Sanchez of the shimmering, club-ready “Tonight.” Another instant anthem, the album-opening “Right to Fall” matches its fiercely romantic lyrics with larger-than-life beats. Elsewhere on “Me, You & the Music,” Sanchez alternates between smoldering dance queen (on “U Got the Love,” an in-your-face club banger) and tough-talking diva (on “Don’t Come Around,” which twists Tom Petty’s classic “Don’t Come Around Here No More” into a brilliantly catchy kiss-off). Rounding out the album are soulful, heart-on-sleeve ballads like “Crazy Glue” and “Plastic Roses,” as well as two collaborations with Prince Royce (the frenetic, synth-soaked “No One Compares” and an alternate version in Spanglish).
Born and raised in Chula Vista, California, Sanchez has devoted almost her entire life to honing the vocal versatility heard throughout “Me, You & the Music.” “I started singing when I was two,” says Sanchez, who lists Mariah Carey, Etta James, and Ray Charles among her musical influences. “I took any opportunity I could to sing in front of other people—like at birthday parties or just in front of my grandmother’s friends—but I was so shy that I had to stare at the floor the whole time.” Sanchez eventually overcame her shyness and, at age 10, performed Aretha Franklin’s “Respect” on an episode of “Showtime at the Apollo.” A year later, she competed on the premiere season of “America’s Got Talent,” reaching the wild-card round before getting cut. “’America’s Got Talent’ was sort of an experiment,” she says. “It helped me realize the importance of pushing myself and not giving up, not letting anything hold me back from going after my dreams.”
Over the next few years, Sanchez performed at venues both large and small (including a 2008 San Diego Chargers game) and released a number of covers (such as Etta James’s “I’d Rather Go Blind”) through an independent record label. After nailing her “American Idol” audition in 2011, Sanchez climbed to the final two and landed her deal with Interscope soon after the season finale.
Diving into the recording of “Me, You & The Music” last summer, Sanchez took a break from the studio to tear through a rousing, choir-backed rendition of Marvin Gaye’s “All I Need To Get By” at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. “The DNC was such an amazing experience,” she recalls. “Being up on that stage felt so great, I just went crazy dancing and singing.” Among her other post-“Idol” adventures are visits to her mother’s homeland of the Philippines, where Sanchez performed a solo show at Quezon City’s Smart Araneta Coliseum on Valentine’s Day. “I got so much support from the Philippines when I was on Idol, so it meant a lot to me to go back there,” she notes. “Right when I got off the plane there were all these people waiting to greet me—it was pretty amazing.” The Philippines also served as the filming location for “Jump In,” Sanchez’s irresistibly danceable collaboration with apl.de.ap of the Black Eyed Peas. With recent endeavors including performances at the White House’s 2013 Easter Egg Roll and the Carousel of Hope Ball (an annual benefit for the Children’s Diabetes Foundation), Sanchez is also gearing up for a recurring guest appearance on the fourth season of “Glee.”
Despite her fabulously hectic schedule, Sanchez reserves her most fiery enthusiasm for the release of “Me, You & the Music.” “Putting together the album, it was really important for me to try to capture all the things we go through in this life—falling love, breaking up, trying to make your dreams come true—but also create something fun and catchy with great beats,” says Sanchez. “Now that it’s finally time to share it with the world, I’m so excited to open everyone up to who I really am,” she continues. “Music has always been what I want to do with my life, and these songs are all me.”
Chris Mann is a classically trained American singer-songwriter who first captured the hearts of millions on the hit NBC singing competition “The Voice” in 2012. His stunning classical-pop singing style landed him on a team coached by Christina Aguilera, who told him, “I feel the heavens open up when you sing.” America agreed and Chris Mann became one of the breakout stars of season two, scoring two hit songs on the iTunes Top 10 Pop Singles Chart. Mann immediately went on to sign with Faircraft/Republic, a new label formed by renowned producer/music executive Ron Fair (Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige). His debut full-length CD, “Roads,” introduced a whole new generation to the classical-pop genre and shot straight to No. 1 on Billboard's Heatseekers Chart and Top 5 on Billboard's Classical Chart. Mann also released a holiday EP, “Home for Christmas”, which was sold exclusively at Walmart and hit No. 1 on the chain's Best-Selling Albums List. “Roads” boasts a wildly eclectic assortment of songs, ranging from Willie Nelson’s “Always on My Mind” and Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” to “Ave Maria” (a favorite) and Damien Rice’s “The Blowers’ Daughter,” with the latter featuring a special guest appearance from Aguilera. Among the album’s endless highlights is “Cuore”, a song co-written by Mann based on Bach’s “Air on a G String,” and a new take on the classic hit “My Way,” which legendary songwriter Paul Anka reworked specifically for him, altering the perspective from an older man to a younger one looking ahead - a notion central to the theme of “Roads.” Mann was raised in Wichita, Kansas. Following his graduation in 2000 from Wichita Southeast High School, he moved to Nashville, Tennessee to study at Vanderbilt University. Mann graduated from the school's prestigious Blair School of Music in 2004, with a degree in vocal performance and was immediately cast in an Italian opera in Europe. He then moved to Los Angeles where he consistently worked in studio and group singing gigs, including an appearance as a Dalton Academy "Warbler" on an episode of “Glee,” the Sundance Film Festival, and the AFI Life Achievement Award 2010. In addition, his studio work has been featured in several films such as “Avatar,” “Glee: The 3D Concert Movie,” “Letters to Juliet,” “Tangled,” “Sex and the City 2,” “The Smurfs,” “2012” and “The Philanthropist.” He has recorded music with Heather Headley, performed with Katharine McPhee, and toured with India.Arie and Idina Menzel. Since the release of his two bestselling albums, Mann has been featured on numerous high-profile television shows and specials including performing for President Obama on TNT’s “Christmas In Washington” special, “The Today Show,” “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” NBC's “Christmas In Rockefeller Center,” “Conan,” “Ellen” and “The Voice.” Fans can catch him live on his very own PBS special, “Chris Mann in Concert: A Mann for all Seasons”and on his headlining tour of North America. For more, visit, www.chrismannmusic.com
Katherine Jenkins is the world’s most prolific classical crossover artist. Since launching her career in 2004, the Welsh mezzo-soprano has sold in excess of seven million albums. Best known for her unique interpretations of popular songs, operatic arias and hymns, Jenkins, from a town called Neath in the Welsh Valleys, has also won praise for her long standing work with the British Forces Foundation, for which she is a trustee, that has led to her being referred to as the Forces Sweetheart. An internationally recognized figure, Jenkins at the age of only 32, has become an ambassador and inspiration for millions of people around the world. Her stratospheric rise has made her the fastest selling mezzo-soprano ever. Having released nine studio albums, she has won various BRIT awards and broken countless records with her albums going platinum around the world. She has performed for the Queen and the Prime Minister. From her breakout in 2003 where she signed the biggest ever classical deal, Jenkins has become the premiere ambassador of bringing classical music to a mainstream audience. She is cherished as one of Britain’s favourite singers, equally at home performing in her homeland Wales, or performing on international TV shows such as “The X Factor.” Throughout her career, Jenkins has picked up numerous awards and performed at every single high profile tournament on the British sporting calendar, which together cement her status in the classical crossover field. Having performed with operatic legends like Andrea Bocelli, Plácido Domingo, Jose Carreras and Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Jenkins has become one of classical music’s most-loved artists, widely credited for making the genre accessible across the world. Having worked with internationally renowned producers including David Foster, John Shanks and Mike Hedges, her unique and timeless vocals have defined the genre. In the UK, she has also reached a whole new audience, including many younger fans, thanks to her appearances as a mentor in two series of ITV's “Popstar To Operastar.” In 2010, she also landed the guest star role in the “Dr. Who Christmas Special” alongside Sir Michael Gambon. Two years later in 2012, she starred in her first Christmas TV special “Steppin Out with Katherine Jenkins” that was broadcast on ITV1 last December. In the US, Jenkins was a contestant on Season 14 of “Dancing With The Stars,” where she opened the season with the highest ever debut score, and was runner up in the finals. Last year, she also released her first Christmas album, “This Is Christmas,” featuring traditional carols and festive favorites, which went straight to No.1 in the American Classical Music Chart. Cherished as one of Britain’s favorite singers, Jenkins has now become one of its greatest musical exports.
Tony Award-winner Alfie Boe, a household name in the UK, celebrates one million records sold in the last 24 months. He is set to start his completely sold out UK Tour, titled Storyteller, after a successful 27-date tour here in the US. In fact, just last year Boe’s autobiography, “Alfie: My Story,” hit number two on the UK Sunday Times Bestseller List and 2013 is set to be an even bigger year for him. Growing up the youngest in a large Catholic family in the British seaside town of Fleetwood, Boe was encouraged in school to get a trade and began work as a car mechanic. However, he then auditioned, and out of 1000 people, he was asked to join the D’Oyly Carte Opera Company and toured the country for 12 months before winning a scholarship to the Royal College of Music in London. After a brief detour into rock and roll, Boe continued his classical education at the Royal Opera House’s Young Artists Programme, where six months into his course came the moment that defined his career. Oscar-nominated director Baz Luhrmann (“Moulin Rouge”) was holding a London audition for his Broadway production of “La Boheme.” Boe snagged the lead role in the show and made the controversial decision to leave his opera education for New York City. After the nine-month Broadway run of “La Boheme” finished, he decided to stay in America and tour with the Boston Pops, singing songs from the Thirties and Forties. In 2006, Boe released his debut album, “Classic FM Presents Alfie Boe.” It was followed in 2007 by two more albums, “Onward” and “La Passione.” The same busy year, he toured the UK with the Fron Male Voice Choir and was nominated for a Classical Brit Award. In 2008, Boe was nominated for two more Classical BRIT Awards, and returned to the London Coliseum in a production of “The Merry Widow”and “Der Rosenkavalier,” before going back to the Royal Opera House for a role in “Elektra.” In 2009, he released his fourth album, “Love Was A Dream” and made festival appearances all over the world, starring in a Welsh National Opera revival of “La Traviata”and reprising his role as Rodolfo in Sir Jonathan Miller’s English National Opera (ENO) production of “La Boheme.” Boe’s highlights of 2010 include two operas for ENO – “The Pearl Fishers” and “Katya Kabanova” - as well as a production of “Romeo et Juliette” at Covent Garden. In 2011, after slaying 38,000 enraptured fans as Jean Valjean at the “Les Misérables” 25th Anniversary O2 concerts, Boe conquered the West End with a five-month run at the Queen’s Theatre, where he transformed the role. 2011 also saw Boe enjoy Top 10 success with his first Decca album “Bring Him Home,” which went on to sell a quarter of a million copies. In July of that year he received the prestigious Silver Clef award for Classical Music. In 2012 Boe gave an inspiring performance at the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee concert in London, flooring the crowd with his vocal power. His Storyteller tour launches March 22, 2013.
Jack Everly is the Principal Pops Conductor of the Baltimore and Indianapolis Symphony Orchestras, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa). He has been on stage with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, appears annually with The Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Music Center and is a frequent guest conductor with orchestras including Pittsburgh, Edmonton and Oklahoma City. Originally appointed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, Everly was conductor of the American Ballet Theatre for 14 years, where he served as Music Director. In addition to his ABT tenure, he has teamed with Marvin Hamlisch in Broadway shows that Hamlisch scored, including “The Goodbye Girl,” “They’re Playing Our Song” and “A Chorus Line.” He conducted Carol Channing in “Hello, Dolly!” in two separate Broadway productions. In television and film, Everly has appeared on “In Performance at the White House” and conducted the songs for Disney’s animated classic “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.” He has been Music Director on numerous Broadway cast recordings and conducted the critically praised “Everything’s Coming Up Roses: The Complete Overtures of Broadway’s Jule Styne.” Everly conducted Sandi Patty’s 2011 release “Broadway Stories” and Daniel Rodriguez’s “In the Presence” from 2005, both with the Czech Philharmonic Chamber Orchestra of Prague. In 1998, Everly created the Symphonic Pops Consortium serving as Music Director. The consortium, based in Indianapolis, produces a new theatrical pops program each season. In the past fourteen years, more than 250 performances of SPC programs have taken place across the U.S. and Canada. Maestro Everly holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Franklin College in his home state of Indiana.
The National Symphony Orchestra of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, led by Music Director Christoph Eschenbach, is recognized not only nationally but internationally as well, and is considered one of the world's finest ensembles. The Orchestra, in its 82nd season (2012-13), maintains a busy concert schedule in this country and abroad. Within the last year the NSO has visited nine countries on four continents. The NSO performs approximately 175 concerts each season, including a classical subscription series, pops concerts, a summer series at Wolf Trap, and one of the nation’s most varied and extensive educational programs. The National Symphony is particularly distinguished for its commitment to the music and musicians of this country, exemplified through several innovative projects, among them the American Residency program, which took the National Symphony to 21 states performing concerts and providing educational services, with all proceeds benefiting artistic organizations in the local states. Through the John and June Hechinger Commissioning Fund, the Orchestra has commissioned more than 60 works by American composers; two have earned Pulitzer Prizes, and the series also includes cycles of fanfares and encores, which, taken as a whole, are representative of the diverse influences in American composition today. The Orchestra provides free public concerts on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, as well as at other venues around the Washington, DC, area. For more information on the National Symphony’s programs, please visit www.nationalsymphony.org.
The Military District of Washington works with Capital Concerts in coordinating the Department of Defense participation of the Premier Service Bands and Service Honor Guards.
The United States Army Herald Trumpets is the official fanfare ensemble for the President of the United States. Founded in 1959 and patterned after traditional British “fanfare” trumpet ensembles, The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets was formed to add splendor to official military ceremonies. A performing element of The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, DC, the ensemble has performed for countless events of national and international significance. These include twelve presidential inaugurals, the “G8” Economic Summits in 1984, 1990 and 2004, the 50th Anniversary of the United Nations and, most recently, the arrival of Pope Benedict XVI at the White House in April 2008. In addition to its official duties, The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets has performed in the opening ceremonies for the 1980 and 2002 Winter Olympic Games, the 1984 Summer Olympic Games and the 1996 Centennial Olympic Games. The ensemble has also performed at such nationally and internationally televised events as Super Bowl XXXIX, The Kennedy Center Honors and the relighting of the Statue of Liberty. The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets has been featured with orchestras from around the world, including the National Symphony Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the Istanbul State Symphony Orchestra, the Boston Pops and the Cincinnati Pops.
In 1956, the U.S. Army Chorus was established as the vocal counterpart of The U.S. Army Band “Pershing’s Own” and is one of the nation’s only professional, all-male choruses. From its inception, the U.S. Army Chorus has established and maintained a reputation of excellence in the performance of male choral literature. Beyond the traditional military music and patriotic standards, the repertoire of the U.S. Army Chorus covers a broad spectrum that includes pop, Broadway, folk and classical music. The U.S. Army Chorus performs often at the White House and in support of functions hosted by the U.S. Departments of State and Defense. The Chorus is a standard feature at events for each presidential inaugural, and has been featured in official ceremonies and special events at the U.S. Capitol. The men of the Army Chorus, most of whom hold advanced degrees in music, are selected from among the nation’s finest musicians. In 2006, the group celebrated its 50th anniversary with concerts that included a reunion of past members, many of whom have gone on to successful careers in music education and as soloists on Broadway and opera stages around the world.
The Soldiers’ Chorus, founded in 1957, is the vocal complement of the United States Army Field Band of Washington, DC. The 29-member mixed choral ensemble travels throughout the nation and abroad, performing as a separate component and in joint concerts with the Concert Band of the “Musical Ambassadors of the Army.” The chorus has performed in all 50 states, Canada, Mexico, India, the Far East and throughout Europe, entertaining audiences of all ages. The musical backgrounds of Soldiers’ Chorus personnel – ranging from opera and musical theatre to music education and vocal coaching – provide unique programming flexibility. In addition to selections from a vast choral repertoire, Soldiers’ Chorus performances often include the music of Broadway, opera, barbershop quartet and Americana. This versatility has earned The Soldiers’ Chorus an international reputation for musical excellence and patriotic inspiration. Recent appearances with the Boston Pops, the Cincinnati Pops, and the Detroit, Dallas and National symphony orchestras have met with critical acclaim. Other notable performances include four world fairs, American Choral Directors Association conferences, music educator conventions, Kennedy Center Honors Programs, the 750th anniversary of Berlin and the rededication of the Statue of Liberty.
The United States Navy Band Sea Chanters is the official chorus of the United States Navy. The ensemble performs a wide variety of music, ranging from traditional choral music, including the sea chantey, to Broadway musicals. Under the leadership of Chief Musician Georgina L. Todd, the Sea Chanters appear throughout the United States and often perform at the White House, the Vice President’s home and for other Washington dignitaries. In 1956, Lt. Harold Fultz, then the Band’s assistant leader, organized a vocal ensemble from the Navy School of Music in Anacostia to sing chanteys and patriotic songs for the State of the Nation dinner. With the ensemble’s immediate success, Admiral Arleigh Burke, then Chief of Naval Operations, transferred the group to the Navy Band, named them the “Sea Chanters” and tasked this all-male chorus with perpetuating the songs of the sea. Female voices were added in 1980, increasing the chorus’s repertoire. The Sea Chanters have become one of the preeminent professional choral ensembles in the country. They have performed at national events and have played a vital role in comforting the nation in times of mourning. Throughout their history, the Sea Chanters have remained true to the Navy’s watchwords of pride and professionalism.
The Singing Sergeants, the official chorus of the United States Air Force, is one of the world's most versatile and traveled choral organizations. Originally formed in 1945 from within the ranks of The United States Air Force Band, the chorus is now composed entirely of professional vocalists from leading colleges, universities and music conservatories throughout the world; and who are all sergeants in the United States Air Force. The Singing Sergeants have appeared before every chief executive of the United States since President Truman, as well as with the New York Philharmonic, the Philadelphia, Cleveland, Houston and National Symphony Orchestras, and both the Boston and Cincinnati Pops. The group has performed at White House, State Department, Supreme Court, Congressional, Department of Defense and high-level civilian functions. Additionally, an important part of the chorus' performing schedule is supporting the president and vice president of the United States, as well as top government and military officials. Presenting the music of America to the people of the world, the chorus has appeared before millions of people in live performances and countless more on radio and television programs. The Singing Sergeants have performed in all 50 states and 49 countries, including a historic trip to the People's Republic of China. It is through these goodwill tours that The Singing Sergeants bring the people of America and the world together.
This year’s award-winning production team features the Capital Concerts’ founder and top Hollywood talent.
Jerry Colbert is the Executive Producer and founder of two of television’s longest-running and multi-award winning live programs that commemorate America’s most important holidays. “A Capitol Fourth,” our country’s biggest birthday party, celebrated its 30th anniversary in 2010 and was the second highest-rated program in primetime on PBS for the 2011-2012 season. The “National Memorial Day Concert” has become the nation’s premier tribute to our men and women in uniform during its 23 years on air and was the number four top-rated program in primetime on PBS for the 2011-2012 season. Colbert also served as Executive Producer of the “National Salute to Veterans”that aired on PBS November 11, 2012. In addition to his annual work on these events, Colbert has produced many films such as “Mr. Justice Brennan,” “Sister Adrian,” the “Mother Teresa of Scranton,” “The Regulators: Our Invisible Government” and “H.R. 6161: An Act of Congress.” Colbert previously served as deputy director of the Center for Understanding Media in New York.
A principal in Capital Concerts for over fifteen years, Executive Vice-President Michael Colbert directs the organization year round in addition to serving as Producer for the “National Memorial Day Concert” and “A Capitol Fourth.” He also served as Executive Producer of the “National Salute to Veterans”that aired on PBS November 11, 2012. Colbert is the primary liaison with the over twenty government and non-governmental Washington agencies and organizations that contribute to the shows, and directs the hundreds of television professionals who participate annually. With more than 20 years of experience, Colbert's credits include major national television specials on CBS, Fox, PBS and Comedy Central in locations ranging from Washington, DC, New York and Los Angeles to Nashville. He has also produced a wide range of major corporate events.
Producer Walter C. Miller is recognized as America’s leading live director and producer with credits including television’s top awards shows, such as the “Grammy Awards,” “Country Music Awards,” “The People’s Choice Awards,” “Tony Awards,” “American Comedy Awards,” “The Emmy Awards,” “Daytime Emmy Awards” and “Golden Globe Awards.” In 1999, he won an Emmy for producing the “Tony Awards.” For “Liberty Weekend: Americana Music Concert,” Miller received the Directors Guild of America Award for Outstanding Director. He has won additional Emmys for “S’Wonderful, S’Marvelous, S’Gershwin,” a special with Jack Lemmon and Fred Astaire, “Annie, The Women In A Life Of A Man.” His live musical concert credits include “Concert of the Americas” with Frank Sinatra in addition to “A Capitol Fourth” and the “National Memorial Day Concert.”
Paul Miller has been directing television since 1982, with credits including three seasons as director of “Saturday Night Live” and four as director of “In Living Color.” He has received four Emmy nominations, and won in 1999, for directing the “Tony Awards,” and again in 2010 for directing ABC News’ coverage of the Inauguration of President Barrack Obama. He has also been nominated twice for the Directors Guild of America in the Musical/Variety category and won for directing the “Tony Awards”. In addition, Miller has directed the “Country Music Awards”for the last fifteen years as well as “CMA Christmas” for three years. He has also directed “An American Celebration at Ford’s Theater”multiple times. Other credits include directing the December 2011 and 2012 broadcasts on NBC of the “American Giving Awards,” a celebrity tribute to community heroes. On July 4, 1993, he teamed professionally with his father, Walter C. Miller, for “A Capitol Fourth” and has directed both the “National Memorial Day Concert” and “A Capitol Fourth”. Paul Miller is a partner in RickMill Productions, a Hollywood based entertainment company that has produced numerous series for Comedy Central as well as specials for HBO and Showtime. This season, Miller has produced and directed “Off Their Rockers” starring Betty White for NBC.
Barr Weissman has produced and edited the documentary segments for the “National Memorial Day Concert”since 1998. Weissman edited and helped produce several independent documentaries; including the Academy Award winning film, “The Stonecarvers” and “Mr. Justice Brennan.” He has directed and edited biographical films for the Kennedy Center Honors (including films on The Who, Mel Brooks and Bruce Springsteen). In addition, he has produced and edited documentaries for the Discovery Channel, National Geographic, NBC, PBS, and others. His work has been recognized by the Emmy’s, received awards at film festivals worldwide, and screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Weissman’s most recent film, “The Secret To A Happy Ending” has screened at film festivals and theaters worldwide and received 4 stars from Rolling Stone. A native Washingtonian, Weissman produced and independently distributed two critically acclaimed documentaries about the city – “Home: The Langston Terrace Dwellings” and “A View From The Street: The Art Of Lily Spandorf.”
Writer Celia Straus has received a number of nominations and awards for her work as a writer for local PBS programming including “The Man Who Loved the Stars,” starring Ossie Davis, “Give and Take,” (Action for Children’s Television award, nomination National Emmy)and “Tax Whys” (Gold, Ohio State Award). She has garnered Cine Golden Eagles, and industrial film festival gold and silver awards as scriptwriter for the American Red Cross, Agency for Instructional Television, USDA, Discovery, National Trust for Historic Preservation and MPT, among others. She was the writer/co-producer of the annual national broadcast of the Thomas “Jefferson Awards for Public Service” and served as co-writer/producer for the full length documentary, “Broke, the American Dream,” which premiered on the Documentary Channel. For the past decade she has worked with numerous veterans service organizations and written the book, “Hidden Battles on Unseen Fronts, Stories of American Soldiers with PTSD and TBI,” Casemate, 2009. Her trilogy on spiritual parenting included the national best seller, “Prayers On My Pillow,” Ballantine Books, 1998.