Sesquicentennial Finale Concert
Memorial Day - May 25
Virginia State Capitol
Bringing a ceremonial close to Virginia's multifaceted commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission was pleased to present a Sesquicentennial Finale Concert that brings together music, songs, brought images, and narration in a profound exploration of the Civil War and emancipation.
The Sesquicentennial Finale Concert was held on the steps of the Virginia State Capitol on Memorial Day (May 25, 2015). Prior to the concert, the work of more than 50 local sesquicentennial committees and partners was recognized in a Sesquicentennial Leadership Recognition Awards ceremony held in the House of Delegates chamber.
Narrated by award-winning historian James I. Robertson, Jr. and featuring the Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, the Sesquicentennial Finale Concert explores the strong emotions and dramatic patterns of the Civil War, which gave rise to more musicthan any other event in American history. As the Civil War began, enthusiastic melodies combined with romantic songs to produce an early motivation for soldiers. However, the fervor of army life quickly melted into loneliness and despair for soldiers, while songs of praise and gospel spirituals brought guarded hope for 3.5 million enslaved people. The war ended, freedom was secured, and the nation became whole, with songs like The Battle Hymn of the Republic forever becoming part of the national heritage that we share.