Watch American Idol finalist Pia Toscano sing for her grandfather and all veterans.

"National Salute to Veterans" featured award-winning stars and well-known personalities.

Joe Mantegna
Gary Sinise
Gen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)
Forest Whitaker
Pia Toscano
Jason Ritter
Kris Allen
A.J. Cook
Javier Colón
Yolanda Adams
Maestro Jack Everly
The National Symphony Orchestra
Military District of Washington
The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets
The U.S. Army Chorus
The Soldiers’ Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band
The U.S. Navy Sea Chanters
The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants

Joe Montegna headshotJoe Mantegna

Joe Mantegna has received critical acclaim for his award-winning and highly praised performances on the stage and in numerous film and television productions. He was awarded the Tony and Joseph Jefferson awards for his role in David Mamet’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play “Glengarry Glen Ross.” His long-standing association with Mamet includes the premieres of “A Life in the Theatre,” “The Disappearance of the Jews,” and “Speed-the-Plow” on Broadway.

Mantegna has also directed a highly lauded production of Mamet’s “Lakeboat,” which enjoyed a successful theatrical run in Los Angeles, and he later directed the film version starring Peter Falk, Robert Forster, Andy Garcia, Charles Durning, Denis Leary and George Wendt.

In the world of film, he has starred in more than 90 films, including “The Godfather III,” “Alice,” “Celebrity,” “Liberty Heights,” “Bugsy,” “Forget Paris,” “Uncle Nino,” “Nine Lives,” “Searching for Bobby Fisher” and “Baby’s Day Out.” He starred in the critically acclaimed Mamet films “House of Games,” “Homicide” and “Things Change,” for which he received the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival. Always the baseball fan, Mantegna conceived and co-wrote the off-Broadway play “Bleacher Bums,” which earned him an Emmy when it was subsequently produced for television. Mantegna is a three-time Emmy nominee, first for his work in the HBO special “The Rat Pack,” for which he also received a Golden Globe nomination for his portrayal of Dean Martin; then for his role of Pippi De Lena in the CBS mini-series “The Last Don”; and finally, in 2007, for his work in the USA network series “The Starter Wife.” In 2008, Mantegna won the Best Actor Award for his work in “Elvis and Annabelle” from the Newport Beach Film Festival.

In recent years, Mantegna has starred in the critically acclaimed CBS series “First Monday” and “Joan of Arcadia.” For the last 21 years, he has been the voice of Fat Tony on the Fox series “The Simpsons.” Mantegna also lent his voice to Pixar’s 2011 smash hit “CARS 2.” He currently stars as David Rossi in “Criminal Minds” and has hosting and producing duties on “Gun Stories” for the Outdoor Channel. In April 2011, Mantegna received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for his work in live theater. In May 2012, Mantegna 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.

Mantegna 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, due out in 2013.

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Gary Sinise headshotGary Sinise

Gary Sinise’s portrayal of Lt. Dan in the Oscar-winning film “Forrest Gump” made him a mainstream movie star, and earned him nominations for an Academy Award and a Screen Actors Guild Award. He received the Best Supporting Actor Award from the National Board of Review and the Commander’s Award from the Disabled American Veterans, as well. He then went on to take starring roles in the acclaimed “Apollo 13” opposite Tom Hanks and Kevin Bacon; the thriller “Ransom” with Mel Gibson and Rene Russo; and in Brian DePalma’s psychological thriller “Snake Eyes.”

Currently, Sinise is producing and starring as Detective “Mac” Taylor in CBS’s highly successful “CSI: New York,” executive produced by Jerry Bruckheimer and Anthony Zuiker. He was last seen on the big screen in Columbia Pictures’ “The Forgotten” with Julianne Moore, and “The Human Stain” opposite Anthony Hopkins, Nicole Kidman and Ed Harris. He also provided the voice of Shaw in Sony’s animated feature “Open Season.”

Sinise is a co-founder of Chicago’s Steppenwolf Theatre Company, where he served as artistic director for seven years. Sinise executive produced the film “Brothers at War,” a rare look at the bonds and service of our soldiers on the frontlines, and the profound effects their service has on the loved ones they leave behind. He was the subject of the Fox News documentary “On the Road in Iraq With Our Troops and Gary Sinise,” which highlighted his fourth USO tour to the country. He is also the subject of the feature-length documentary “Lt. Dan Band: For the Common Good,” a film about remembering those who serve, those who are willing to lay down their lives for others, and those who are left behind. In 2008, Sinise received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the second-highest civilian honor awarded to citizens for exemplary deeds performed in service of the nation. He is one of only three actors in history to have received this honor.

As a result of Sinise’s first two trips to Iraq, he started Operation International Children, which has worked with schools in the U.S., corporate sponsors and People to People International to supply the military with well over a quarter of a million school-supply kits, more than half a million toys, and thousands of blankets, backpacks, shoes, books, and sets of sports equipment to provide to children in conflict areas. Sinise also serves as the spokesperson for the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial Foundation, which is building a memorial for America’s 3 million living disabled military veterans. In 2011, Sinise launched the Gary Sinise Foundation to honor the nation’s defenders, veterans, first responders, their families and those in need. The foundation will provide and support unique programs designed to entertain, educate, inspire, strengthen and build communities. 

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Colin Powell headshotGen. Colin L. Powell, USA (Ret.)

For more than 50 years, Gen. 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 to 1989, Powell served as President Ronald Reagan’s national security advisor. He served from 1989 to 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 best-seller and has been published in more than a dozen languages. His second book, “It Worked for Me,” reveals the lessons that shaped his life and career and was published in May 2012. 

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Forest Whitaker headshotForest Whitaker

Forest Whitaker is one of Hollywood’s most accomplished actors, directors and producers. He has showcased his talents in a multitude of demanding and diverse roles. During his career, he has won 18 critics awards, and has been nominated for 50 others, which has given him national and international accolades. He received the Cannes Film Festival Award for Best Actor, an Academy Award for Best Actor, a Golden Globe, BAFTA, SAG, Image Award and many others. He received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in April 2007.

Whitaker has starred in such films as “Good Morning, Vietnam,” “Phenomenon,” “Panic Room,” “The Last King of Scotland” (for which he won an Academy Award in 2007), “Bird,” “Where the Wild Things Are,” “Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai,” “Pret-a-Porter,” “A Rage in Harlem,” “The Crying Game,” “Platoon” and countless others. On television, Whitaker has appeared in a number of made-for-TV movies, and he’s had recurring roles on both “ER” and “The Shield.” In 2002, he served as the host and narrator for the new “Twilight Zone” series. He also starred as Sam Cooper in the CBS spin-off series “Criminal Minds: Suspect Behavior.” Whitaker made his directorial debut with “Strapped,” which won the International Critics Award at the Toronto Film Festival. He directed and executive-produced “Waiting to Exhale,” which won numerous NAACP awards; “Hope Floats”; and “First Daughter.” He’s produced numerous award-winning films and made-for-television movies and miniseries, including “Door to Door” in 2002, for which he earned an Emmy Award.

In addition to film and television, Whitaker has done extensive humanitarian work and has been involved with Penny Lane, an organization that provides assistance to abused teenagers, and with animal-rights organizations PETA and Farm Sanctuary. He also was part of the fundraising team of Stand Up To Cancer, and has helped raise funds for Human Rights Watch. Whitaker has also raised money for neurosurgeon Dr. Keith Black’s research on cancer. Recently, he became a spokesperson for Hope North, an orphanage in Northern Uganda, which takes displaced child soldiers and helps create nuclear families for them to thrive in. Whitaker is part of the Committee for Artists for a New South Africa, and he helped establish Nelson Mandela Day, which helps to promote volunteer service. He has received the Humanitas Prize and the Vision Award, and was honored with the Peace Award in Berlin. In 2008, Whitaker was honored by the city of Los Angeles with the Hope of Los Angeles Award, and his entire family received LA’S BEST Family Focus Award. He was also honored by SCLC, Women’s Organizational Movement for Equality Now with a Drum Major for Justice Award.

Forest Steven Whitaker was born in Longview, Texas, on July 15, 1961. His family moved to South Central Los Angeles and then Carson, Calif. Currently, he lives in Los Angeles with his wife, Keisha, and their children. 

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Pia Toscano sings to veterans Pia Toscano

Pia Toscano has made a name for herself as a vocalist with a rich, emotionally transparent voice, clearly influenced by the likes of Mariah Carey, Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Etta James and Luther Vandross. Performing since the age of 4, Toscano was widely considered one of “American Idol” Season 10’s front-runners, thanks to her powerhouse vocal ability and dark-haired beauty.

Most recently, the songstress was considered a good-luck charm for the NHL’s Los Angeles Kings. She sang the national anthem at all of the team’s home games throughout the playoffs that led them to the first Stanley Cup win in franchise history. Toscano has performed on ”Today,” “Dancing with the Stars,” “So You Think You Can Dance,” “Live! With Regis & Kelly” and many other national programs. Additionally, since wrapping the American Idol Live! 2011 Tour, for which she received critical praise, Toscano has opened for the Barenaked Ladies and performed with Josh Groban at Madison Square Garden, as well as performed the national anthem for numerous pro sports teams.

Currently, Toscano is finishing production on her much-anticipated debut album, and has teamed with the powerhouse team of hit-making producers The Underdogs, composed of Harvey Mason Jr. and Damon Thomas, and songwriters to deliver new music to her fans later this year.

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Jason Ritter performs for VeteransJason Ritter

Jason Ritter can currently be seen as Lauren Graham’s love interest in a multi-episode arc on NBC’s critically acclaimed “Parenthood.” For this role, he was nominated for an Emmy in the category of Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama Series. Ritter starred on NBC’s conspiracy thriller “The Event” opposite Blair Underwood and Laura Innes. On the show, he played Sean Walker, an unlikely hero who gets entangled in an immense government conspiracy when his would-be fiancée Leila (Sarah Roemer) mysteriously disappears during their Caribbean cruise.

He was recently seen in “A Bag of Hammers” (starring opposite Rebecca Hall), which opened in May 2012, and “The Perfect Family” (opposite Emily Deschanel), which premiered at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival. “Free Samples,” opposite Jess Weixler; premiered at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. He also appeared in “The End of Love” (opposite Amanda Seyfried and Michael Cera), which opened at Sundance Film Festival in January 2012.

Ritter also starred in the independent film “The Dry Land,” opposite America Ferrera, Ryan O’Nan and Melissa Leo. The film premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival and won the prize for international premiere at the 2010 Edinburgh Film Festival. He also starred in “Peter and Vandy” (opposite Jess Weixler), which premiered at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival and was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize. Ritter starred in and co-produced “Good Dick,” written and directed by Marianna Palka, which was nominated for the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2008.

His other film credits include “The Education of Charlie Banks,” “Our Very Own,” “Happy Endings,” “Mumford” and “Raise Your Voice.” Other television credits include series regular roles on “The Class” and “Joan of Arcadia.” Ritter starred as the title character in the Lincoln Center production of Wendy Wasserstein’s “Third,” opposite Dianne Wiest, Charles Durning, Amy Aquino and Gaby Hoffmann, directed by Daniel Sullivan. His additional theater credits include the off-Broadway production of Tom Donaghy’s “The Beginning of August” and the role of Tim in the world premiere of Neil LaBute’s play “The Distance from Here” at London’s Almeida Theatre, directed by David Leveaux. 

Ritter is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied at the Atlantic Theatre Company. He also studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London. 

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Kris Allen performs for veteransKris Allen

Since skyrocketing to stardom as the winner of the 2009 season of “American Idol,” Kris Allen has taken his “impressive talent” and “warm-hearted charm” on the road with the likes of Keith Urban, Maroon 5, Barenaked Ladies and Lifehouse as well as headlining club tours across the country.

When he’s not on the road, Allen can be found lending his talent and time to organizations such as VH1 Save the Music, Little Kids Rock and

In May, he released his sophomore album, “Thank You Camellia,” and he will be bringing hits like “The Vision of Love” and “Better With You” to a club near you this fall. 

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A.J.Cook performs for veteransA.J. Cook

A.J. Cook is a Canadian actress best known for her role as Jennifer “J.J.” Jareau on the CBS hit television series “Criminal Minds.” Other television credits include “Higher Ground,” “Tru Calling,” “Bringing Ashley Home,” “Dead Like Me” and “Law and Order: SVU.” She has also starred in several feature films, including “The Virgin Suicides,” “Out Cold” and “Final Destination 2.” Cook can be seen in the upcoming feature films “Least Among Saints” and “WER.” 

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Javier Colon performs for veteransJavier Colón

Singer-songwriter-musician Javier Colón has a lot of heart! Combined with his unwavering determination and enthusiasm for his craft, Colón has overcome his share of trials and tribulations in the music industry, becoming an international star in the process. Today, the Puerto Rican-Dominican recording artist is armed with all the tools to cement his place among today’s top performers, anchored with an incredible voice and remarkable ability for songwriting. Since the release of his debut Universal Republic album, “Come Through for You,” Colón has been igniting a worldwide buzz while touring across the nation in support of his album.

The New York Times hailed, “The album stays kindly, polished and simpering all the way through. … Mr. Colón’s skill as singer and songwriter is obvious.” With a fresh take on pop, soul and acoustic music, Colón’s journey started this year with the release of this album.

Like many of the great performers before him, Colón’s musical journey didn’t happen overnight. He found a wide audience (more than 13 million viewers) with his victory as winner during the inaugural season of NBC’s “The Voice,” one of the most successful new televised talent shows of 2011. Debuting his original song “Stitch by Stitch” on “The Voice,” Colón set himself apart from his peers and connected with the studio and viewing audiences. The song not only won him the title, but also became something of a phenomenon. During the first week of its digital release, the song exceeded sales of 145,000 and peaked at #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Prior to his game-changing win on “The Voice,” Colón toured with the Derek Trucks Band for two years before releasing “Javier” (2003) and “Left of Center” (2006) via Capital Records. After a split from Capital, Colón released “The Truth - Acoustic EP” on his own label, Javier Colón Music, in 2010. He had already begun to stand out as he fashioned the foundation for his self-proclaimed “acoustic soul” style.

Soon after, he dove deep inside his thoughts and feelings and began writing songs for “Come Through for You.” The album’s next single, “As Long As We Got Love,” featuring Natasha Bedingfield, sees Colón’s continued emergence as a songwriter. On this melodic duet, the singers’ voices intertwine in a hypnotic harmony that’s simply unforgettable. Colón grew up with music all around him. His father was a DJ at a local radio station in Connecticut, and fiery sounds of Latin music filled the confines of his home. He later found musical influences not only in Latin music, but also in artists such as Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway, James Taylor, James Brown, Joni Mitchell and, more recently, John Mayer.

Today, the husband and father of two little girls continues to ensure musical influences fill his life and home. Colón keeps his wife and two daughters close to his heart at all times, often writing about them. “I connect emotionally to all the songs I write, especially those that have to do with my wife and little girls,” he explains. Colón continues to tour internationally while working on his new music and spending quality time with his family. 

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Yolanda Adams performs for veteransYolanda Adams

This Grammy Award-winning gospel music singer and radio show host has been amazing audiences and listeners for years with her trademark pioneering spirit and boundless optimism. She has received four Grammy awards, an American Music award and numerous other awards from NAACP, Soul Train, BET, Stellars and Dove. Recording solo since 1991, Adams has sold more than 4.5 million CDs worldwide. She serves as the host of the popular syndicated radio show “The Yolanda Adams Morning Show.” She released her first book, “Points of Power,” in 2010, and her most recent album, “Becoming,” in April 2011. But Adams’ greatest and proudest attribute is being the mother of her beautiful, gifted 11-year old, Taylor Crawford, the joy and love of her life. 

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Jack Everly conducting NSO for salute to veteransMaestro Jack Everly

Jack Everly is the principal pops conductor of the Baltimore and Indianapolis symphony orchestras, Naples Philharmonic Orchestra and National Arts Center Orchestra (Ottawa). This season, he made his Los Angeles Philharmonic debut at the Hollywood Bowl, returned to The Cleveland Orchestra and appeared as guest conductor in Pittsburgh, The New York Pops at Carnegie Hall, Edmonton and Kansas 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 10 years, more than 235 performances of SPC programs have taken place across the U.S. and Canada, including this season’s “Mysterioso: Music, Magic & Mayhem.” Maestro Everly holds an Honorary Doctorate of Arts from Franklin College in his home state of Indiana. 

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NSO performing on National Salute to VeteransThe National Symphony Orchestra

The National Symphony Orchestra of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, led by Music Director Designate 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 81st season (2011-12), maintains a busy concert schedule in this country and abroad, performing 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 has so far taken 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. 


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Military District Of Washington Military District of Washington on the national salute to veterans

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. 

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US Army Herald Trumpets The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets

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.

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US Army ChorusThe U.S. Army Chorus

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. 

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Soldiers Chorus of the US Army Field BandThe Soldiers’ Chorus Of The U.S. Army Field Band

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. 

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US Navy Band Sea ChantersThe U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters

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. 

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Image - S2_1_16_SingingSergeants.jpgThe U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants

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. 

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