Veterans Day Broadcast

November 11, 2021
@ 8:00 PM on WSKG
@ 9:00 PM on WCNY


The Falling and the Rising centers around a strong female hero known only as “Soldier.” After sending a video message home on the eve of her daughter’s thirteenth birthday, our soldier is severely wounded by a roadside IED. We follow as she makes her way through a miraculous coma-induced dreamscape—one punctuated with the lives of other fellow service members, each on their journey toward healing and home. Based on real-life interviews with wounded soldiers, this operatic soldier’s odyssey was created in hopes of capturing the indomitable spirit of our U.S. military veterans. By shedding light on the inspirational power of their often overlooked stories, we hope to knit the civilian and Veteran/Military populations together through this story of family, service, sacrifice, and hope.

The Falling and the Rising is made possible through generous support from The Stewart W. and Willma C. Hoyt Foundation, Broome County Veterans Services, The National Endowment for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts, The United Cultural Fund of the Broome County Arts Council, The Conrad and Virginia Klee Foundation, and The Community Foundation for South Central New York.

Special thanks to our Media Sponsor WBNG, and to the Veteran’s Coalition (VetCenter, Clear Path for Veterans, Southern Tier Veterans Support Group, and Broome County Veteran Services) for their tireless work on behalf of Veterans in our community and their assistance in making sure this project can reach as many Veterans as possible.

Performance Information

Run Time

Approximately 90 minutes.


Performed in English.

Broadcast Locations

WSKG: November 11, 2021 8:00 PM
TV and Streaming

WCNY: November 11, 2021 9:00 PM
TV, Radio, Streaming

This production was filmed live in Binghamton, NY, at the Broome County Forum Theatre on September 13, 15, & 16, 2021.


MSG Teresa Alzadon
SFC Betsy Garcia
SFC Ben Hilgert
Homecoming Soldier
SSG Keenan McCarter
SFC Ian Bowling
SSG Will Tvrdik

Doctor #1/Soldier (Cover) SFC Michaela Shelton

Doctor #2 SFC Betsy Garcia

Doctor #3/Toledo (Cover) MSG Rose Ryon

Doctor #4 SFC Ben Hilgert

Doctor #5 Christian Teague

Doctor #6 SSG Keenan McCarter

Doctor #7 SFC Ian Bowling

Jumper (Cover)/Homecoming Soldier (Cover) SSG Joey Mazzara

COL Dennis Thompson, US Army

SGT Ronald Clupper, US Air Force

Creative Team

COL Jim R. Keene
Stage Director
Jerre Dye
Zach Redler

Producer/NCOIC SFC Ben Hilgert

Asst. Producer SFC Tim Coombs

Operations MSG Tyler Shultz

Backup Conductor LTC Robinson

Backup to the Backup SSG Lucy McVeigh

Veterans Chorus Coordinator SFC Tim Coombs

Stage Manager Patricia Garvey

Assistant Stage Manager SFC Sergio Acosta

Projections Designer/Operator James Lanius

Tech Director SSG Madeline Brumback

Setup Leader SSG Will Tvrdik

Production Manager Nathan Elsener

IATSE Crew Chief William Carroll

Master Electrician Daniel Sonnen

Veteran Chorus Master Ü Lee


Flute/Piccolo/Alto Flute MSG Katy Hodjati

Oboe/English Horn SSG Amy Houck

Clarinet SSG Mikey Arbulu

Clarinet SSG Dane Clark

Clarinet SSG Jason Russo

French Horn SSG Jennifer Kempe

Percussion SFC Andy Emerich

Percussion SSG Mitch Gribbroek

Double Bass SFC Joel Ciaccio

Harp SSG Grace Bauson

Guitar SSG Mike Gillespie

Piano SSG Kelvin Ying

Raymond W. Braunscheidel

Timothy Burford, E-4

Joseph Cerwonka, Sergeant

Dominic Cipolla, Sergeant 1st Class

John Czuhanich, Corporal

Albert Henry Daw, Staff Sergeant

Albert Eaton, Jr., Lieutenant Commander

Albert Eaton, Sr., Technical Sergeant

John Leroy Englert, 1st Lieutenant

Charles Fish, Sergeant Lieutenant 1st Class

Chufi Giaffo, Corporal

Jean Graham, Airmen 1st Class

Edward Griffith, Sergeant E-5

Alexander Hart, Major

Peyton Hibbitt

Maurice How, PFC

William Kessinger, PFC

George ‘Geo’ Krauss, Corporal

Jeff Largue, Spc4

Charles Largue, Staff Sergeant

Fred Leise, PFC

Pasquale Luciani, A1C

Benjamin Margolius, Colonel

Terry McLain, NG

Matt Murphy, 1st Sergeant

Edward O’Loughlin, Gunners Mate 3rd Class

Lawrence Peters, Sergeant

Clifford Post, Corporal

William Prigger, Navy Chaplain

William Quick, Sergeant

Margaret Quick, Tech 5

Stu Reynolds, Sergeant

Jim Riley, Lieutenant Commander

David Rupright, Warrant Officer (W4)

Carmen Savoca

Derwood Joseph Shiplett, Quartermaster 3rd Class

Connie Studgeon, PFC

William Stuempfle

Floyd James ‘Jim’ Thompson, Colonel

Dennis Thompson, Colonel

Cara Tilton, Sergeant

Patrick Ulmen, Sr., END3

Ernest Vaught Corporal

Cynthia, Sergeant

Gather Together: A Musical Potluck

December 5, 2021

Colonel Jim R. Keene


Colonel Jim R. Keene became the Commander of The United States Army Field Band in January 2015. Prior to this assignment, he served as Commander of the United States Military Academy Band at West Point, New York; Commandant of the Army School of Music at Norfolk, Virginia; and at The United States Army Band “Pershing’s Own” in Washington, DC, the U.S. Army Europe Band and Chorus in Heidelberg, Germany, and the Army Ground Forces Band in Atlanta, Georgia.

Jerre Dye

Director and Librettist

Jerre Dye is a Chicago-based playwright, opera librettist, director and actor. He is the recipient of the Bryan Family Foundation Award for Drama from the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His plays include DistanceCicadaShort/StoriesThreadsThe New Adventures of Hansel and GretelWild SwansSid and the Magic Box and an adaptation of Stravinsky’s A Soldier’s Tale with IRIS Orchestra. His opera librettos include: Ghosts of Crosstown of Opera Memphis (featured at the OPERA America’s annual conference as part of the new works sampler in 2014 and 2015); Parksville Horror, a filmed, episodic, virtual reality opera for Opera on Tap in New York City; The Falling and Rising for the U.S. Army band and chorus; Chautauqua Stories for Chautauqua Opera, By/In for Opera Memphis; Taking Up Serpents for Washington National Opera; and upcoming commissions for both Opera Philadelphia and the Napa Valley Arts festival.

Zach Redler


Zach Redler is an award winning music theater composer whose work has been performed in concert halls, opera houses, and theaters around the world. Some of his favorite works are: The Memory Show, Loving Leo, Windows, A Song for Susan Smith, ADAM, Movin’ Up in the World, and The Falling and the Rising. Zach is currently working on a one-woman theater piece for Tanya Bird Torres, a chamber opera for Houston Grand Opera, and a new piece with Jerre Dye for the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife.

Erin Alcorn


2020–21 Resident Artist

2020/21 Season at TCO: Adina in The Elixir of Love; Francine in Monkey and Francine in the City of Tigers; Semi-Finalist in TCO Next: A Virtual Vocal Competition; Miranda (stand-in) in Miranda: A Steampunk VR ExperienceCocoa & Carols

Hometown: Coppell, TX

Recently: Soprano soloist, Messiah (Pennsbury Community Chorus); Soloist, Historic St. George’s UMC Christmas Concert; Chorus member, The Love of Three Oranges (Opera Philadelphia)

Last updated May 2021

Robert Flora


2020/21 Season at TCO: Belcore in The Elixir of Love

Hometown: Owings, MD

Recently: Peter, Hansel and Gretel (Binghamton University); Nardo, La finta giardiniera (Binghamton University); Figaro, Le nozze di Figaro (Mansfield University); Papageno, Die Zauberflöte (Mansfield University)

Last updated May 2021

Jenni Bank


2020/21 Season at TCO: Dr. Dulcamara in Opera and Beer! The Elixir of Love (2021)

Hometown: Binghamton, NY

TCO Debut: Mrs. Lovett in Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2015)

Recently: Gertrude, Hänsel und Gretel (Cape Town Opera)*; Marquise de Birkenfeld, The Daughter of the Regiment (Opera Orlando)*; Marcellina, Le nozze di Figaro (Hawaii Opera Theatre); The Mother, The Consul (Baltimore Concert Opera)

*cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19

Upcoming: Ruth, The Pirates of Penzance (Anchorage Opera); Madame Larina, Eugene Onegin (Opera Omaha)

Last updated May 2021