On-Air Highlights

2017 National Memorial Day Concert

Written by Fred Vigeant, Director of Programming and Promotions for TV and Radio | May 1, 2017 1:56 PM

Join again this year for the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT Monday May 28 at 8:00pm on WITF. 

Oscar nominee and Emmy and Tony-Award winner Laurence Fishburne (BLACK-ISH) will join Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna (CRIMINAL MINDS) to host the 28th annual edition of PBS' NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT. For almost three decades, PBS has inspired viewers with this deeply moving and reverential night of remembrance dedicated to our men and women in uniform, their families at home and all those who have given their lives for our country.  Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise (CRIMINAL MINDS: WITHOUT BORDERS), who has co-hosted the concert for the past eleven years, will present a 75th anniversary salute to the Doolittle Raiders, the daring aviators who changed the course of World War II in the Pacific. 

The all-star line-up for the event includes: distinguished American leader General Colin L. Powell USA (Ret.); world-renowned four-time Grammy Award-winning classical superstar Renée Fleming; multi-platinum recording artist and star of television, film and the Broadway stage Vanessa Williams; country music superstar Scotty McCreery; Grammy nominated, multi-platinum selling artist John Ondrasik of Five for Fighting; acclaimed actor John Ortiz (A DOG'S PURPOSE; KONG: SKULL ISLAND); Broadway and television star Christopher Jackson (HAMILTON, BULL); distinguished actress Ana Ortiz (UGLY BETTY, DEVIOUS MAIDS); legendary Irish Tenor Ronan Tynan; and the UK's best-selling cross-over artist Russell Watson; in performance with the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of top pops conductor Jack Everly (additional performers to be announced).  The gifted actress and singer Auli'i Cravalho (MOANA) will open the show with a special performance of the "National Anthem."

Broadcast live from the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, the 28th annual broadcast of the NATIONAL MEMORIAL DAY CONCERT airs on PBS Sunday, May 28, 2017, from 8:00 to 9:30 p.m., before a concert audience of hundreds of thousands, millions more at home, as well as to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.  The concert will also be live-streamed online on Facebook Live and www.pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert and available as Video on Demand for a limited time only, May 28 to June 10, 2017.

Also participating in the event are the U.S Joint Chiefs of Staff with 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 Band Sea Chanters, The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, the Armed Forces Color Guard and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.  

The program is a co-production of Michael Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA, Washington, D.C.  Executive producer Michael Colbert has assembled an award-winning production team that features the top Hollywood talent behind some of television's most prestigious entertainment awards shows including the GRAMMY AWARDS, COUNTRY MUSIC AWARDS, TONY AWARDS, SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, and more. 

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