PBS announces 200th anniversary Star-Spangled Banner special

Star-Spangled 200, Inc. (SS200) has announced that it has partnered with Maryland Public Television (MPT) and dick clark productions to produce Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem (working title), a two-hour live broadcast to be shown on Thirteen’s Great Performances series on PBS on September 13th. The live television event is a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the penning of the country’s national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.”

The special will feature a star-studded line-up of musical performances representing a wide variety of musical genres, historical vignettes and an extraordinary fireworks display. The show will be broadcast live from the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine and Baltimore’s Inner Harbor from 8 – 10 pm EST and will be rebroadcast for West Coast audiences.

The two-hour special will feature a diverse line up of entertainers paying tribute to our nation’s ideals in a thrilling and inspiring concert at the Pier Six Pavilion. The Baltimore harbor, replete with tall ships and naval vessels will serve as a stunning backdrop. The program will also include ceremonial activities at Fort McHenry, historical highlights and a dramatic fireworks crescendo.

Star-Spangled Spectacular will be a dynamic, moving and memorable prime time entertainment special.”

“We are thrilled to have Maryland Public Television, dick clark productions and PBS’ Great Performances with us for this once-in-a-lifetime anniversary celebration showcasing Maryland as the home of two inseparable American icons, the 15-star, 15- stripe flag and the national anthem,” said Ann Beegle, executive director of Star-Spangled 200, Inc. “The bicentennial of the national anthem is a wonderful moment for our nation to come together and celebrate history.”

“We are delighted to be Maryland’s lead story teller, especially during this banner year,” said Steven J. Schupak, chief content officer at Maryland Public Television. “Star-Spangled Spectacular will be a dynamic, moving and memorable prime time entertainment special.”

“While we are accustomed to the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ being a central part of our everyday lives, through this retelling of the historic events within a concert setting of diverse musical performances, audiences will be reminded of and inspired by the flag and anthem that have become important national—yet personal—symbols,” said David Horn, executive producer of Great Performances.

Two hundred years ago, Francis Scott Key, a Maryland-born attorney, was inspired to write the words to what would become the United States’ National Anthem. In 2012, Star-Spangled 200 and the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission began a multi-year commemoration of this legacy which will culminate with Star-Spangled Spectacular, a ten day festival taking place on September 6 – 16, 2014 where Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem (working title) will take place. The festival will include tall ships, Navy gray hulls, a performance by the Blue Angels, landside festivities and this special television program to honor the National Anthem.

Author: Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites.