Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

A Musical Tribute for Veteran's Day to be Hosted by New Musicals Inc

pixeltracker

The concert will include excerpts from So Proudly We Hailed web series.

A Musical Tribute for Veteran's Day to be Hosted by New Musicals Inc

On Veterans' Day - November 11 - at 7pm, New Musicals Inc is hosting a special online concert to help celebrate the day and pay respect to veterans around the world. The free concert will feature excerpts from the musical webseries, "So Proudly We Hailed" which honors veterans by dramatizing and musicalizing their story in their own words.

The concert will feature three short episodes, excerpts from interviews with veterans and performers, as well as two excerpts from upcoming musicals in development this season.

The concert is free, but donations are encouraged. "100% of the proceeds will go to producing additional episodes to tell the stories of more veterans," says NMI's Executive Director Scott Guy. "We're raising funds right now for three episodes which will focus on military sexual trauma (MST). We're hoping to raise awareness about this much-shushed topic."

The musical webseries pairs veterans with an artistic team comprised of a composer, lyricist, director, and dramaturg, who then shape the story into a short musical retelling in a digital platform.

The episodes which will be featured in the concert are:

  • "Christmas in Afghanistan" based on the experiences of Army veteran Addison Blu, about a soldier stationed in Afghanistan who accidentally buys an entire truckful of bread on Christmas Eve. Book by Addison Blu, music by Michael Finke, and lyrics by Addison Blu and Michael Finke. Directed by Megan Rees, and featuring performer Tonoccus McClain;
  • "Blood" which features the true story of Billie Estes, a hospital Navy Corpsman, who discovers her personal losses intersect with the wounded soldiers in hospital tents in Kandahar and Haiti. Lyrics and music by Angela Parrish. Directed by John Coppola, and featuring performer Evelyn Halus; and
  • "The Messenger" based on the experience of retired Portuguese Air Force Colonel Paulo Jorge Machado Dias Gonçalves, a United Nations Peacekeeper who learns his life's mission through a chance conversation with a five-year-old Bosnian boy. Music and lyrics by Ryan Patrick Martin; and featuring performer Eduardo Enrikez.

Other episodes in the series which can be viewed at https://nmi.org/veterans include:

  • "The Interrogator," based on the experience of Army veteran Elaine Little, an interrogator who once grilled the only female prisoner in Bagram on charges of terrorism, with music and lyrics by Joshua H. Cohen; and featuring performer Megan Rees;
  • "Chasing Ghosts" based on the Iraq War memoir, An Angel From Hell, by Infantryman Ryan Conklin; with music by Ron Barnett and lyrics by Christine Croyden; featuring performer Troy Armond Barboza; and
  • "Judy & Me" - a bittersweet story of a father and a son whose relationship with the military shifts over time - as told by former Air Force C-130 pilot J.A. Moad II - with book and lyrics by J.A. Moad II; music by Filip Holacky; and featuring performer Michael A. Shepperd.

They will also be featuring song excerpts from two new episodes currently in post-production:

  • "The American Dream" based on the experiences of retired Navy Photographer's Mate Brenda Garcia - who was a photographer in the White House under two very different administrations ... with book by Amy Andrews, music by Isabel Guzman, dramaturgy by Dana Ianuzzi; directed by Claudia Duran, and featuring performer Stephanie Rojo; and
  • "Still Standing Proud" which deals with the subject of Military Sexual Trauma (MST). Our veteran for this episode prefers to remain anonymous - but the lyrics and music are by Natalie Rebecca LoveJoy, and the performer is Giane Morris.

Two other episodes also currently in post-production are:

  • "An English Major in Camouflage," a story from former US Navy Intelligence Officer Melissa Milich about being tasked to regale a foreign General with stories from American literature - with book by Melissa Milich, lyrics and music by Katie Brady; and featuring performer Elizabeth Bouton; and
  • "The Things You Miss," a story from retired United States Air Force pilot George Nolly - based on his experiences flying 315 combat missions on two successive tours of duty in Vietnam; lyrics and music by Benjamin Emory Larson, and book by George's son, Stephen Nolly.

So Proudly We Hailed began in the summer of 2020 when NMI put out a Call for Submissions to veterans willing to share their stories. The selected veterans then worked with their NMI team to create musically theatrical pieces of approximately 12-20 minutes. The episodes were filmed at NMI's studio in North Hollywood and then released online.

"NMI is so humbled by this whole project," says NMI's Artistic Director Elise Dewsberry. "Each story is its own, powerful gem. We're so proud to be able to help Veterans share their stories."

"We're also looking into combining episodes into 20, 40, or 60-minute live theatrical productions for military or community events," says Guy. "This project provides a vibrant record of veteran experiences; and through the creation of musical theatrical short films, participants and audience may gain more insight and understanding of the military experience."

The webseries is funded in part from generous grants from the Helen and Jose Colton Foundation, the Peter Glenville Foundation, the Anonymous Fund (Marin County), and the California Arts Council, a state agency.

About New Musicals Inc.: Founded in 2007, NMI's mission is to develop new musicals via table readings, workshops, concerts, and productions. For more than 30 years, New Musicals Inc. (NMI) has developed musical theatre bookwriters, librettists, and composers. For additional information, visit www.nmi.org

To see the concert, visit www.nmi.org/veterans.


Related Articles View More TV Stories

Buy at the Theatre Shop

T-Shirts, Mugs, Phone Cases & More

From This Author Gigi Gervais