May 27, 2022
The 33rd annual National Memorial Day Concert airs Sunday, May 29 at 7:00 pm and 8:30 pm on WTTW, featuring musical performances and tributes to people who have served in the armed forces. This year also marks the 100th anniversary of the Lincoln Memorial, which will be celebrated during the concert by Gary Sinise. Meet the other performers below.
Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise
The Chicagoland natives and veterans of our city's theater scene have hosted the National Memorial Day Concert for several years, and have long devoted themselves to the cause of veterans and active troops. They are perhaps best known popularly for playing policemen on TV: Sinise on CSI: NY and Mantegna on Criminal Minds.
Haysbert, whom you might recognize as such authority figures as God in the TV show Lucifer and the President on 24, is a fitting person to pay tribute to the late General Colin Powell, who passed away last year. Powell had previously appeared in National Memorial Day Concerts, so it is especially fitting that the event honors him.
Birmingham has appeared in the TV series Yellowstone, Banshee, and The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, as well as the The Twilight films. In a tribute to soldiers who lost their lives in the Vietnam War, he shares the story of Lakota combat medic Francis Whitebird.
Smart is an acclaimed and well-awarded actress who first made an impact on stage but has since appeared in numerous TV shows and films, including Fargo, Watchmen, Mare of Easttown, and many others.
McCormack is a veteran National Memorial Day Concert performer. She has appeared in TV shows such as The West Wing and The Kids Are Alright as well as various films, including Deep Impact and True Crime. She honors women of World War II in this year's event.
Salonga is most recognized for her voice: she was the singing voice for the Disney princesses Jasmine and Mulan. But she's also a popular stage presence on Broadway.
Lewis is primarily a stage actor who has starred in The Phantom of the Opera, among other shows.
Morgan is a veteran who turned to country music after serving. His biggest song is "That's What I Love About Sunday."
Giddens is at the forefront of a progressive strain of roots music who has excavated hidden histories of Black music and even written an opera. She is a MacArthur "genius" grant winner and Grammy Award winner.
Brian Stokes Mitchell
Stokes Mitchell is a Broadway star who has won a Tony for Best Actor in a Musical, but has also appeared in television, film, and a wide range of concerts.
Toscano is a singer who garnered fame on American Idol.
Jack Everly and the National Symphony Orchestra
The evening is rounded out by Washington’s National Symphony under the baton of Jack Everly, a well-known pops conductor.
In addition there are performances from the armed services' own ensembles: 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.