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Renée Fleming, Audra McDonald and More Featured in UNITED IN SONG: CELEBRATING THE RESILIENCE OF AMERICA

United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America will premiere Thursday, December 31, 2020 from 8:00-9:30 p.m. EST .

Renée Fleming, Audra McDonald and More Featured in UNITED IN SONG: CELEBRATING THE RESILIENCE OF AMERICA

This New Year's Eve, JoAnn Falletta conducts the National Symphony Orchestra in the PBS Special, United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America which will premiere Thursday, December 31, 2020 from 8:00-9:30 p.m. EST and again from 9:30-11:00 p.m. EST (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS Video App. The star-studded performance-filmed at George Washington's Mount Vernon and The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts-encourages our nation to come together and celebrate our irrepressible strength as we welcome the New Year. Despite the enormity of COVID-19 and the significant presence of social injustice, this special evening of wide-ranging music joins us in the ever-present pursuit of uniting as one America.

Filmed with the National Symphony at The Kennedy Center and the soloists at George Washington's Mount Vernon in front of a small, socially-distanced live audience and under strict COVID-19 mitigation procedures, the program features performances by the NSO with soloists including multi-Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell; internationally celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma; world-renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet; and rising opera star Soloman Howard, as well as Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and Simple Gifts. The special also features Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton; world-renowned soprano Renée Fleming; celebrated mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves; multi Grammy and Tony Award-nominated artist Josh Groban; recording artist and Broadway star Morgan James; 26-time Grammy and Latin Grammy Award winner Juanes; Grammy Award-winning and world-renowned artist Patti LaBelle; six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald; two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell; and celebrated actor, playwright and professor Anna Deavere Smith; alongside The American Pops Orchestra, conducted by Maestro Luke Frazier.

In addition to the abovementioned musical appearances, interviews with artists were conducted onsite at Mount Vernon by David M. Rubenstein, philanthropist and host of The David Rubenstein Show on Bloomberg.

"It is not important that we were spaced apart from one other, or even in different venues and wearing masks, because we are performing music together and that is what unites us all. Conducting the superb National Symphony Orchestra is a beautiful way to celebrate the New Year with joy and hope" says Falletta. "Music is a universal language and has the unique power of uniting us. I suspect the majority of us will be celebrating this New Year's with an inability to gather in-person. Ringing in 2021 with music performed by world-class artists, provides an opportunity to celebrate what makes us American," shared co-executive producer Rubenstein. He added, "When George Washington was leaving office to return to Mount Vernon, he asked that we look to each other and find what we share in common as opposed to what makes us different. That advice appears to be just as relevant today as it was more than 200 years ago. I am sorry that George Washington was not here to greet these extraordinary artists, but I have no doubt that he was listening from above."

UNITED IN SONG: CELEBRATING THE RESILIENCE OF AMERICA will stream simultaneously with the broadcast and be available on all PBS station-branded platforms, including PBS.org and the PBS Video App, available on iOS, Android, Roku streaming devices, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Android TV, Samsung Smart TV and Chromecast.


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