4TROOPS, new vocal group featuring four U.S. combat veterans, honors soldiers, veterans and Americans in debut concert special
4TROOPS are a new pop vocal group made up of United States combat veterans who served on the front lines in Iraq and Afghanistan: Former CPT Meredith Melcher, Former SGT Daniel Jens, SSG (Ret.) Ron Henry and Former SGT David Clemo. While overseas, music played a crucial and very personal role in all of their lives. They would sing at everything from large military events to more intimate settings, where they would jam in their bunk after a long day in the field and try to recall a slice of home. They also used their voices at somber occasions like memorial services, where they would sing to remember those that had been lost. As 4TROOPS these veterans share their experiences as a voice for troops — honoring the sacrifices of soldiers and military families in song and creating awareness for their needs.
4TROOPS: Live from the Intrepid is the group’s debut performance special and features an inspirational repertoire of well-known patriotic and pop hits. All of the songs take on a special meaning in the context that they are performed by these four combat heroes. The concert begins with “For Freedom,” an uplifting soldiers’ tribute written by Matt Moran for his grandfather, a WWII vet. Jens sings and plays acoustic guitar on “Galveston,” No. 8 in CMT’s 100 Greatest Country Music Songs, written by Jimmy Webb and popularized by Glen Campbell. Country star Toby Keith gave his blessing for 4TROOPS’s new version of his popular and controversial post-9/11 hit “Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue” with lyrics revised to reflect a 2010 outlook. Other emotional performances include Melcher’s rendition of Sarah McLachlan’s “Angel;” Lonestar’s “I’m Already There,” reinvented as an evocative military homecoming; the inspirational ballad “You Raise Me Up;” and Henry’s interpretation of Luther Vandross’s “Dance With My Father,” featuring a tear-jerking spotlight dance by Melcher and her father, three-star Lt. Gen. (Ret.) David Melcher. Broadway Inspirational Voices, a gospel ensemble comprised of theatre actors, joins 4TROOPS for a solemn tribute to fallen soldiers set to “Amazing Grace” with a bagpiper, a patriotic medley featuring “Grand Old Flag” and “America the Beautiful,” and the celebratory finale “Raise Your Glasses” by Kiss and Holly Knight that brings audience members to their feet, clapping and singing along.
4TROOPS: Live from the Intrepid is a co-production of MASTERWORKS, DRW Entertainment and WLIW21 in association with WNET.ORG – one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. “4TROOPS gives our veterans a face. We wanted to make viewers more conscious of those who willingly serve our country and celebrate those service men and women,” said Laura Savini, Vice President of Marketing, WLIW21. “Music connects people. With this concert we hope that PBS audiences will appreciate these performers and consider our troops and their service.” The concert was filmed March 15, 2010 at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in New York City, one of America’s leading historic, cultural and educational institutions. Opened in 1982, the Museum is centered on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Intrepid, one of the most successful ships in U.S. history, and now a national historic landmark.
4TROOPS: Live from the Intrepid is sure to inspire all American citizens, regardless of politics. Engaging viewers on the emotional front lines of military life, 4TROOPS have lived the lyrics they sing, from the solitude of sleepless nights without shelter to the challenges and joys of homecomings, from the heartache of mourning fellow soldiers to the honor of patriotic service.
“Bless the Broken Road”
“I’m Already There”
“You Raise Me Up”
Cadence with the audience
“Courtesy of the Red, White and Blue (2010)”
“Dance With My Father”
“You’ll Never Walk Alone”
“Grand Old Flag”/“America the Beautiful”
“Raise Your Glasses”
PBS special programming invites viewers to experience the worlds of science, history, nature and public affairs; hear diverse viewpoints; and take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. Viewer contributions are an important source of funding, making PBS programs possible. PBS and public television stations offer all Americans from every walk of life the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and online content.
Underwriters: Public Television Viewers and PBS. Producers: A co-production of MASTERWORKS, DRW Entertainment and WLIW21 in association with WNET.ORG. Executive Producers: Shelley Ross, Mark Cavell, Alex Miller, David Simoné, Winston Simone, and Rick Blaskey. Producers: Pierre Lamoureux and Francois Lamoureux. Director: Shelley Ross.