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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

“United in Song: Celebrating the Resilience of America” was filmed at Mount Vernon and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. Premiering on PBS on the night of New Year’s Eve 2020, the star-studded event encouraged American unity as the country entered 2021.

The event featured performances by:

  • Grammy-nominated mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton
  • Multi-Grammy Award-winning violinist Joshua Bell
  • World-renowned soprano Renée Fleming
  • Celebrated mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves
  • Multi Grammy- and Tony Award-nominated artist Josh Groban
  • Rising opera star Soloman Howard
  • 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
  • Internationally celebrated cellist Yo-Yo Ma
  • Six-time Tony Award winner Audra McDonald
  • Two-time Tony Award winner Brian Stokes Mitchell
  • Celebrated actor, playwright and professor Anna Deavere Smith
  • World-renowned pianist Jean-Yves Thibaudet, alongside The American Pops Orchestra conducted by Maestro Luke Frazier
  • Performances by the National Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Maestra JoAnn Falletta, were filmed in the Concert Hall of the Kennedy Center and are also part of this special broadcast.

David M. Rubenstein, philanthropist and host of “The David Rubenstein Show” on Bloomberg, conducted interviews of the artists at Mount Vernon. Rubenstein shared:

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.

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.

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