Baritone John Brancy honours the memory of those who fought, died and lived during World War I at the In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace concert on Thursday, 6 April. The concert, which debuted at the Kennedy Center, is a central part of the day that commemorates the 100th anniversary of the United States of America officially entering World War I. The events will be held at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City, Missouri, for an audience of thousands and will be streamed around the world.

The international ceremony will feature readings of speeches, journalism, literature and poetry and performances of important music from the time. In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace will also include flyovers by U.S. aircraft and Patrouille de France, military bands, colour guards, ceremonial units and video features.

The commemoration’s music is under the direction of Michelle DiBucci and will feature the world premiere of two historic songs and a special appearance by members of the Kansas City Symphony and two military bands. In addition to Mr Brancy and his recital partner, pianist Peter Dugan, the evening’s notable performers include Academy Award-winner Kevin Costner, R&B recording artists Billy Cliff and Lisa Fischer and Kansas City Lyric Opera featured artist Samantha Gossard.

Mr Brancy and Mr Dugan will also release their debut album, A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial in Song. The recording, funded through a successful Indiegogo campaign, is the culmination of a labour of love and a dedication to the music written during and inspired by the WWI era. The two have toured throughout North America with the programme in recital at Carnegie Hall, the Joye in Aiken Festival, St. John’s College, the University of Chicago and the Société d’art vocal de Montréal

John Brancy is “a vibrant, resonant presence” (The New York Times) on the international opera, concert and recital stages. He is a recent 1st prize winner of both the Jensen Foundation and Marilyn Horne Song competitions, and recipient of the Sullivan Foundation Grand Prize and career grant, 1st prize of the Classical Singer Magazine Competition and the Gold Award for the Voice at the Young Arts Foundation competition. Highlights of the 2016/17 season include his title role debut in Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin with Florida Grand Opera, Papageno in a new production of The Magic Flute with Clarion Opera in New York City, The Steward in Opera Omaha’s production of Johnathan Dove’s FLIGHT and his Opera National de Lorraine debut as Harlekin in Ariadne of Naxos.

The live stream of the In Sacrifice for Liberty and Peace ceremony will be viewable by clicking here starting from 9:00 AM CDT on 6 April.

Watch the A Silent Night: A WWI Memorial featurette here and on YouTube.