Press Release: Star Spangled Spectacular To Air On MPT



Star-Spangled Spectacular concert special to air on Maryland Public Television


Live, two-hour September 13 concert special celebrates national anthem’s 200th anniversary


Two-hour live broadcast, hosted by John Lithgow, co-hosted by Jordin Sparks, features performances from

Kristin Chenoweth, Melissa Etheridge, Denyce Graves-Montgomery, Little Big Town, Pentatonix,

Smokey Robinson, Kenny Rogers, and Train


OWINGS MILLS, MD – Maryland Public Television, in partnership with Dick Clark Productions and THIRTEEN Productions, presents Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of our National Anthem, a concert special honoring the 200th anniversary of our national anthem, at Pier Six Concert Pavilion on Saturday, September 13. The concert will air live on MPT at 8 p.m. as part of PBS’s Great Performances series.

Prior to the concert, MPT will team up with WBAL-TV for a one-hour program Star-Spangled Spectacular: Baltimore Celebrates airing from 7-8 p.m. on MPT and 7-7:30 p.m. on WBAL. Hosted by WBAL’s morning duo Jason Newton and Mindy Basara with MPT’s Jeff Salkin and Yolanda Vazquez and WBAL’s Megan Pringle on location at sites throughout the city, the program will highlight the biggest events and attractions during the weeklong Star-Spangled 200 celebration. The program will feature a mix of packages and live interviews showcasing the tall ships, Navy gray hulls and historic exhibits that define the celebration.

Star-Spangled Spectacular is the highlight event during the Star-Spangled 200 celebrating the 200th anniversary of our national anthem. Acclaimed actor, musician and author John Lithgow will host alongside platinum recording artist and actress Jordin Sparks. The star-studded show includes performances by a diverse line-up of artists including: Emmy and Tony Award-winning actress and singer Kristen Chenoweth; Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter Melissa Etheridge; celebrated mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves-Montgomery; Grammy Award-winning country group Little Big Town; a capella sensations Pentatonix; legendary singer-songwriter Smokey Robinson; Grammy Award-winning Country Music Hall of Fame member Kenny Rogers; multi-platinum Grammy Award-winning band Train; and the Grammy Award-winning Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.

These talented artists will pay tribute to our nation’s ideals in a patriotic program that includes a flag ceremony at Fort McHenry National Monument, historical highlights, and an extraordinary fireworks crescendo. Baltimore’s harbor, replete with tall ships and naval vessels will serve as a stunning backdrop for the celebration.

Major corporate support for Star-Spangled Spectacular: Bicentennial of Our National Anthem is provided by AT&T, Papa John’s Pizza, and Constellation Energy. Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, The Agnes Varis Trust, The LuEsther T. Mertz Charitable Trust, The Starr Foundation, Kate W. Cassidy Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation, Harold and Elise Danino Hirshberg, and PBS.   

About MPT

Launched in 1969 and headquartered in Owings Mills, MD, Maryland Public Television is a nonprofit, state-licensed public television network and member of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS).  MPT’s six transmitters cover Maryland plus portions of contiguous states and the District of Columbia.  Frequent winner of regional Emmy® awards, MPT creates local, regional, and national television shows.  Beyond broadcast, MPT’s commitment to professional educators, parents, caregivers, and learners of all ages is delivered through year-round instructional events and the super-website Thinkport, which garners in excess of 19 million page views annually.  MPT’s community engagement connects viewers with local resources on significant health, education, and public interest topics through year-round outreach events, viewer forums, program screenings, and phone bank call-in opportunities.