With her powerful vocals and charismatic smile, American Idol alumna and TV musical “Glee” member Jessica Sanchez sang her heart out at the National Memorial Day Concert held in Washington D.C. last night.
Sanchez who has strong military connections through her father and grandfather who both served with the US Navy performed “God Bless America” in a tasteful red gown to a supportive audience composed largely of active and retired military servicemen and their families.
Last night’s performance was not Sanchez’s first time to perform at the west lawn of the United States Capitol. She sang at the same concert last year in May performing “The Star Spangled Banner”, “God Bless America” and “The Prayer”.
Sanchez released her debut album “Me, You & the Music” last April 30 which landed at #26 on the Billboard 200 on its first week in the market.
Other stars who also performed at the concert were Candice Glover, this year’s “American Idol” winner, and Chris Mann, last year’s winner of singing competition “The Voice”. World renowned classical artists such as the legendary tenor Ronan Tynan, record-selling mezzo-soprano Katherine Jenkins and Tony award winner and “Les Miserables” superstar Alfie Boe joined the youngsters in entertaining the crowd with their magnificent vocals.
Alfie Boe’s heartrending rendition of the “Les Miserables” classic “Bring Him Home” was one of the highlights of the concert. Boe who has played the role of Jean Valjean for “Les Miserables” in London since 2011 seemed to have successfully re-channeled Valjean’s famous hymn/prayer to provide strength and peace to our modern military heroes and their families. The same song was also sung by the brilliant Colm Wilkinson, original Jean Valjean, during the National Memorial Day Concert in 2009.
Other highlights included moving tributes to war veterans such as those who gallantly fought and survived the Korean War, decorated WWII soldier Charles Durning and military soldiers and twin brothers Earl and Joe Granville.
The concert was hosted by actors Gary Sinise and Joe Mantegna with special appearances by actor Ed Harris and retired General Colin L. Powell. Performances were accompanied by the National Symphony Orchestra as conducted by world renowned Maestro Jack Everly along with the U.S. Army Chorus, the Soldiers’ Chorus of the United States Army Field Band, U.S. Navy Band Sea Chanters, the U.S. Army Herald Trumpets and the U.S. Air Force Singing Sergeants.
The 2013 National Memorial Day Concert was broadcast on PBS at 8:00 p.m. E.T.