Nashville Public Television will air the 31st annual National Memorial Day Concert on Sunday, May 24, at 7 p.m. with an 8:30 p.m. encore. NPT will rebroadcast the concert on Memorial Day (Monday, May 25) at 10 a.m. with an 11:30 a.m. encore. Grand Ole Opry member Trace Adkins and Grammy Award-winning gospel legend CeCe Winans will be among the performers.
Due to public health concerns during the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual concert will not be held on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol per tradition. Instead, this year’s broadcast will feature new performances from around the country and iconic segments relevant to today’s times.
Tony Award-winner Joe Mantegna and Emmy Award-winner Gary Sinise return as hosts and the 90-minute special includes new appearances and performances by retired Army Gen. Colin L. Powell; Tony-, Emmy- and Grammy-winner Cynthia Erivo; Grammy Award-winning soprano Renée Fleming; Tony Award-winner Kelli O’Hara; members of the National Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Jack Everly; and a special message from Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Broadway and television star Christopher Jackson will open the show with a poignant performance of the national anthem. The broadcast will also feature performances from previous concerts by actor Sam Elliott; Emmy- and Tony-winner Laurence Fishburne; and actor/producer/director Esai Morales.
Woven throughout the program will be messages of thanks and support from prominent guest artists to active-duty military, National Guard and Reserve members and their families, veterans, and Gold Star families. In addition, the show will acknowledge those performing essential duties during the pandemic, including first responders, healthcare workers, grocery clerks, truck drivers and postal workers.
Also participating in new and selected past performances are members from The U.S. Army Herald Trumpets, The U.S. Army Chorus, The U.S. Army Voices and Downrange, The Soldiers’ Chorus of the U.S. Army Field Band, The U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, The U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants, and Service Color Teams provided by the Military District of Washington, D.C.
The concert will also be available on Facebook, YouTube and pbs.org/national-memorial-day-concert and as Video on Demand, May 24 to June 7, 2020. The National Memorial Day Concert will also be available to our troops serving around the world on the American Forces Network.