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MPT Debuts Documentary on National Anthem

Film explores role of music and patriotism during War of 1812.

OWINGS MILLS, MD – The one-hour documentary Anthem will have its TV premiere on Dec. 19, 2012, at 9 p.m. on Maryland Public Television. 

The independent documentary film tells the story of Francis Scott Key’s creation of The Star-Spangled Banner and explores the role of music and patriotism during the War of 1812.

Featuring musical performances and interviews with historians and music experts from the United States and Great Britain, the film will explore the songs and events that influenced Key to write what would become the national anthem of the United States of America. 

Maryland’s commemoration of the bicentennial of the writing of The Star-Spangled Banner kicked off in June with Star-Spangled Sailabration activities and will culminate in September 2014 with the Star-Spangled Spectacular. Anthem’s premiere is the latest in MPT’s on-air contributions to the War of 1812 observance.

Featured interviewees in the Anthem documentary include:

  • Dr. David Hildebrand—Early American music expert and co-founder of the Colonial Music Institute
  • Dr. Ralph Eshelman—1812 historian and author
  • Richard Brookhiser—noted author and journalist
  • Justin Reay—Naval historian and scholar from Oxford University
  • Martin O’Malley—Governor of Maryland

In presenting Anthem, MPT is partnering with Star-Spangled 2000, the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, and the National Park Service.  After the debut on Dec. 19 at 9 p.m., Maryland Public Television will rebroadcast the documentary on Dec. 20 at 3 am, and on Dec. 21 at 11 pm on MPT2.


In July 2013, the film will be released by MPT to public television stations nationwide.  A preview of the film can be viewed at http://www.anthem1812film.com.

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 manifest in its year-round instructional events and super-website Thinkport which garners in excess of 1.4 million visits annually.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Jack Hoppenstein December 06, 2012 at 01:39 PM
It is one of the best uses of television on Air. If only some station can help reduced crime in our Country.
Janet Metzner December 07, 2012 at 12:31 AM
Jack, thanks for the comment. And the nice thought!
Buck Harmon December 09, 2012 at 02:20 PM
Great piece..! Thanks..
Janet Metzner December 09, 2012 at 06:26 PM
Buck, MPT did do a great job! Thanks. Reminder to readers: "Anthem" premiers Dec. 19, 2012, at 9 p.m. on Maryland Public Television.
Karl December 15, 2012 at 05:58 AM
Don't be deceived. MPT can not take artistic credit for "Anthem". It was produced by an independent producer, Make Your Mark Media Inc., which is located in Prince George's County.

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