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National Remembrance Day Concert To Feature Recorded Performances – Deadline

The National Memorial Day concert will once again forgo live performances on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol in favor of a series of recorded performances, with plans for the event to commemorate September 11 and the Gold Star families, as well than other tributes.

The May 30 event, in honor of serving military personnel, veterans and their families, has traditionally been brought online with the Capitol and the National Mall as a backdrop, but the current Covid-19 pandemic has scuttled plans for a full-scale concert.

Instead, producer Capital Concerts is shooting performances in key locations in DC and beyond – without Zoom segments. The lineup includes Colin Powell, Gladys Knight, Vince Gill, Sara Bareilles, Alan Jackson, Denyce Graves, The Four Tops, Brian d’Arcy James and the National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Jack Everly. There will also be a tribute to service with the Pentagon Joint Chiefs of Staff, and a special message from General Mark A. Milley, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Mickey Guyton will open the show with a performance of the national anthem.

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Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise are back to host the event, which last year was also forced to cancel the live concert in favor of recorded segments.

A hallmark feature of the ceremony are the personal stories of service members and their families. Among the segments: Kathy Baker will honor nurses who served in Vietnam, with a spotlight on the experiences of Diane Carlson Evans, founder of the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. Joe Morton will present a tribute to Korean War veterans, with a focus on what was the The army’s only all-black Ranger Infantry Company, the 2nd Ranger Infantry Company.

Steve Buscemi, Mary McCormack and Bailee Madison will present a commemoration of the families of 9/11 and the Gold Star, linked to the upcoming 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks. The concert will pay tribute to servicemen affected by a generation at war, with a focus on the family of Staff Sergeant Joseph Phaneuf II, who was deployed to Iraq and then to Afghanistan. He died in December 2006 when an IED exploded near his Humvee.

The concert will air on PBS from 8:00 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. ET, and will air on Facebook and YouTube. It will also be available on request on the PBS website.

Also in attendance will be the US Army Herald Trumpets, US Army Voices and Chorus, US Army Marching Band Soldier Choir, US Navy Sea Chanters, US Air Sergeant Singers. Force and Service Color Teams provided by the Army District of Washington, DC The event is a co-production by Michael Colbert of Capital Concerts and WETA.

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