Hayley sings 'Pie Jesu' at US National Memorial Day Concert

30 May 2011


VIDEO: Hayley Westenra - Pie Jesu: National Memorial Day Concert 2011
(to see the complete 19 minute segment scroll down or click here)

Hayley Westenra
Hayley Westenra sang Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Pie Jesu' yesterday before a huge audience at the National Memorial Day Concert in Washington DC. You can join in the discussion about it in the HWI forum, click here. Many thanks to HWI member TimJ for providing our initial video footage of this)

HWI member Bill R (amptique), who watched the concert as it happened, said:

Hayley's performance of 'Pie Jesu' was a perfect finish to the very emotional story of a young woman's quest to learn about her father who was killed in Vietnam . Then to follow her performance with the lone bugle playing taps was very powerful. In my opinion, Hayley had the most difficult part of the concert to perform and she was outstanding. 

We can now show you that entire 19 minute 'Vietnam' segment, it is very moving and it culminates in Hayley's performance of Pie Jesu, followed by the lone bugler. The people involved are: Michelle Baugh, daughter of Richard Githens who died in Vietnam when she was a baby, and his fellow soldier and friend Chuck Gregoire. Their moving story is told by Gary Sinese and actress AJ Cook.


VIDEO: National Memorial Day Concert 2011 (Vietnam segment)
19 minute video including near the end: Hayley Westenra - Pie Jesu


Here are a few photos we have created from the high quality video recording posted on Youtube by channel zpfxlrdnajs to whom many thanks . Click for larger versions.

Hayley Westenra

Hayley Westenra

Hayley Westenra


This is Michelle

This is Michelle Githens-Baugh, my father is Rich Githens, and I'm the woman who was in the front row, whose story was featured that night.  Words cannot begin to describe the myriad of emotions that were going through me while the story was being played out.  AJ and Gary did a truly amazing job.  I believe I can speak for Chuck when I say we were both truly honored by the way they brought our story and Dad's story to life.  It was so very well done, so beautifully done and with such compassion.

I thought I could take a deep breath when it was "over", but then Hayley took the stage.  I need to say at this point that the previous day Hayley asked my son and I if she could accompany us to The Wall, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and we were honored to have her with us.  I guess I had no idea why she really wanted to go.  I realized later that she wanted to get a feel for the Memorial and the names etched on it.

As she began to sing, my heart responded in a way I simply can't explain, her voice, the words, the song, everything about it, spoke to me.  Thank you for your beautiful song Hayley, thank you for meeting my father, for your visit that day...everything about that night was amazing, but that song just pulled at my heartstrings and spoke to my heart in a way...well, my reaction wasn't expected.  Thank you for allowing me to show my love for my father in a way I usually don't.  You are a truly beautiful person, inside and out!  You have a gift that makes people open their heart!

Michelle, proud daughter of Rich, KIA 29 May 1968

I watched it on PBS. The

I watched it on PBS. The whole program, with one exception, was very moving. Hayley did have a very difficult position after the veterans' stories to sing. It seemed to me that she was having to overcome very strong emotions. Yet, as the video shows, it had a very strong effect on the lady who searched for information on her father's death and on his friend who was with him when he died.

I was there.  She was

I was there.  She was absolutely amazing!