National Memorial Day Concert

Backstage at the National Memorial Day Concert

The Production Team

The National Memorial Day Concert is brought to the screen by hundreds of dedicated professionals working to ensure a meaningful and memorable experience for honorees, performers, audience members, and viewers at home.

Executive producer Jerry Colbert and producer Michael Colbert have assembled a production team that features the top Hollywood talent behind some of television’s most prestigious entertainment awards shows. The team includes Emmy Award-winning producer Walter C. Miller, whose credits include the Grammy Awards and the Country Music Association Awards; and award-winning director Paul Miller, whose credits include the Country Music Association Awards and Saturday Night Live.

Jerry Colbert 

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 35th annual broadcast in 2015.  The National Memorial Day Concert, which marked its 25th anniversary in 2014, has become the nation’s premier tribute to our men and women in uniform.  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 BrennanSister Adrian, the Mother Teresa of ScrantonThe 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.

Michael Colbert 

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, which aired on PBS November 11, 2012. Colbert is the primary liaison with the more than 20 government and nongovernmental 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.

Walter C. Miller

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, the Country Music Association Awards, the People’s Choice Awards, the Tony Awards, the American Comedy Awards, the Emmy Awards, the Daytime Emmy Awards, and the Golden Globes. 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, and Annie, The Women in the 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 

Paul Miller is a veteran television director whose credits include the Country Music Association Awards, the Tony Awards, Saturday Night Live, Star Spangled Spectacular: A Celebration of the 200th Anniversary of Our National Anthem, New Year’s Rockin’ Eve, live from Nashville, In Living Color, and many specials and series for all the major broadcast and cable television networks. Paul has received six Emmy nominations, and won for directing the Tony Awards and the ABC News coverage of the inauguration of President Barack Obama. He has also been nominated twice for the Directors Guild of America Award in the Musical/Variety category and won for directing the Tony Awards. Paul Miller has directed the annual PBS broadcasts of A Capitol Fourth and the National Memorial Day Concert for the past 20 years. He 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.

Barr Weissman

Barr Weissman has produced and edited the documentary segments for the National Memorial Day Concert since 1998. Mr. 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 for CBS (including films on The Who, Mel Brooks, Bruce Springsteen, and Tom Hanks). 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 Emmys, received awards at film festivals worldwide, and been 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 four stars from Rolling Stone. A native Washingtonian, Mr. 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.

Celia Straus 

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 also wrote the 2013 and 2014 National Memorial Day Concerts. Celia has garnered Cine Golden Eagles and industrial film festival gold and silver awards as scriptwriter for the American Red Cross, the Agency for Instructional Television, USDA, Discovery, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and MPT, among others. She was the writer/coproducer of the annual national broadcast of the Thomas Jefferson Awards for Public Service and served as cowriter/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, 1998).

Awards

The National Memorial Day Concert and A Capitol Fourth have become American traditions, consistently ranked among the highest rated programs on PBS over the past decade. The extraordinary talents of the production teams have ensured that these holiday specials were honored with more than 70 awards, including the New York Film Festival Award, the Telly Award, the Golden Cine Award, the Videographer Award, the National Education Association Award, the Aurora Award, the Christopher Award, the Communicator’s Award, the AXIEM Award, the Omni Award, and the Writers Guild of America Award.

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