The 150th Anniversary of Gettysburg

Challenge: Create a live event that documents, moves forward, and excites a live and television community around a historical place and time.   One with complex cultural expectations.

Solution:  A massive film, music and scripted performance of the battle and address of Gettysburg.


Garver was hired to direct and orchestrate he commemorative event on Sunday, June 30 entitled “Gettysburg 150: A New Birth of Freedom.” This was an event for the National Park Service (NPS) and The Gettysburg Foundation in partnership with United States Army West Point Orchestra.  This was not only a live experience for over 8,000 guests, but was also broadcast live by over 100 credentialed media representatives from outlets reaching a worldwide audience and A&E partnered with NPS and Gettysburg Foundation to webcast the event live on 

The program began with the Presentation of Colors by the 3rd U.S. Infantry Regiment, the Old Guard, accompanied by Country Music superstar Trace Adkins singing the national anthem a capella. Former ABC journalist Charles Gibson served as the evening’s master of ceremonies, introducing the keynote address by presidential historian and Pulitzer prize-winning author Doris Kearns Goodwin. Following her remarks, the United States Army Band kicked off the music for the theatrical “Voices Program” led by LTC Jim Keene and composed by SGM Douglas Richard (both from USMA West Point).  This was a multi-stage performance that incorporated in the original score of the orchestra, the performers citing historical content, videos over three screens, live battalions on the fields beyond, and much more.  The piece had to speak both to the needs of a compelling live event and an important televised event. The evening culminated with a candlelit vigil, underscored by the thunderous sounds of The Old Guard’s 21 Gun Salute. 


Garver was responsible for the direction and collaboration of all elements of this production.  She cast, re-scripted and scored the work alongside the massive team of collaborators and her contractor, Empire Entertainment.   This was a massive undertaking with a tremendous amount of people watching how this moment in history would be recognized.