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 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 26th anniversary last year, has become the nation’s premier tribute to those who have served, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. 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 and 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.
Michael Colbert is the Executive Producer of two of television’s longest-running and multi-award winning live programs that commemorate America’s freedom and independence at the U.S. Capitol. A Capitol Fourth, America’s national Independence Day party, celebrates its 37th annual broadcast in 2017. The National Memorial Day Concert, which marks its 28th anniversary this year, has become the nation’s premier tribute to our men and women in uniform, their families at home, and all those who have given their lives for our country. Capital Concerts was founded by Michael’s father, Jerry Colbert, who passed away in January, 2017. Michael Colbert, who managed the organization in partnership with his father for over 20 years, continues to direct Capital Concerts year-round. He is the primary liaison with the over twenty government and non-governmental Washington agencies and organizations that contribute to the shows, and oversees the hundreds of television professionals who participate annually. In addition to his annual work on these patriotic events, 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, 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 and 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 is a veteran television director whose credits include the Country Music Awards, 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. Recently he served as Executive Producer/Director of It’s Your 50th Christmas, Charlie Brown (ABC, 2015). Paul has received six Emmy nominations and won for directing the Tony Awards and the ABC News coverage of the Inauguration of President Barrack Obama. He has also been nominated twice for the Directors Guild of America Award in the Musical/Variety category. Paul 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 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 films, 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 received awards at film festivals worldwide and has been recognized by the Emmy Awards 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 also wrote the 2013, 2014 and 2015 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, 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 she wrote 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 bestseller, Prayers On My Pillow, Ballantine Books, 1998. She has recently co-authored her father's WWII memoirs, Pathfinder Pioneer, about flying B17s over Germany in 1943-44, Casemate, April 2016.
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 led these holiday specials to earning 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.