Smithsonian Salutes the Flag in Style on the 200th Anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner (photos)
On Flag Day, June 14, the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., hosted "Raise It Up! Anthem for America", a celebration commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner. The concert spectacular on the museum plaza featured the United States Air Force Concert Band, and the official chorus of the U.S. Air Force, the Singing Sergeants; guitarist Kristen Capolino; local blues band Little Bit a Blues; singer-songwriter Carlene Carter, daughter of June Carter Cash; and members of the Smithsonian Jazz Quintet. And, of course, the real Star-Spangled Banner flag. An estimated 400-person choir, ranging in age from 9 to 81 and representing diverse ethnic, geographic and musical backgrounds, performed “America the Beautiful”. They were organized by Classical Movements in partnership with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and Chorus America. The orchestra and combined choirs were led sequentially by MacArthur ‘genius’ Fellow Francisco J. Núñez, Grammy-winning composer Eric Whitacre and Air Force Col. Larry Lang. Wayne Clough, Secretary, Smithsonian Institution and the Hon. Martin O’Malley, Governor of Maryland delivered keynote speeches.
The original manuscript of "The Star-Spangled Banner" lyrics has just been installed for a special short-term display, uniting it with the flag Francis Scott Key saw at the "dawn's early light." The manuscript is on loan from the Maryland Historical Society, presented at the event by Burt Kummerow, president of the Society, during a special ribbon cutting ceremony with Governor O'Malley and top officials of the Smithsonian. Visitors were entertained by the The Fort McHenry Guard Fife and Drum Corps wearing period uniforms.
To highlight the festivities, people around the world united to sing our National Anthem at 4:00 PM EDT, kicking-off a Star-Spangled summer. The event was broadcast and video streamed around the world by CSPAN.
View our photos of this Star-Spangled event by clicking on the photo icons below. (all photos by Jeff Malet)