Journey Home Album CoverRecorded by Vocal Arts DC in 2018, The Journey Home commemorates the centennial of World War I and advocates for the long-awaited national memorial to those who served in the war.

John Brancy and Peter Dugan Release The Journey Home: Live from the Kennedy Center

On May 28, 2021 Vocal Arts DC in collaboration with Avie Records released The Journey Home: Live from the Kennedy Center. Inspired by the 100th anniversary of the end of WWI, the concert, which sold-out at the time, explores timeless themes of longing, loss, love, and the search for peace in the wake of catastrophe.

Musical selections range from Schubert's Der Wanderer, to Vaughan Williams' Songs of Travel, as well as popular tunes and art songs by composers and poets who died in the war. The concert is performed by Grammy Award winning baritone, John Brancy, and pianist (and host of NPR’s From the Top), Peter Dugan in a 2018 live performance from the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater.

The concert was presented by Vocal Arts DC and the General Delegation of Flanders to the United States. Brancy and Dugan will also release a single and music video from their performance of, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone,” from the album. Upon its release, the album can be found on all major streaming platforms, including Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play.

Accompanying the album, the duo has released a film of the performance, which includes interviews with historians and military personnel. The film also explores the long overdue process of creating a national memorial to World War I in Washington, DC, including interviews with the United States WWI Centennial Commission and a rendering of what the completed monument will look like. The National World War I Memorial has just opened in Pershing Park in Washington, DC, although the bronze sculpture, which will be the largest in the northern hemisphere, will not be completed for another three years. The film was scheduled to be aired over Memorial Day Weekend on WNET’s All Arts Channel. More information about the streaming options for this performance can be found at

Grammy Award winning baritone John Brancy, and pianist Peter Dugan, host of NPR’s From the Top, met one another at Juilliard, and have been redefining the art song recital since making their critically acclaimed debut of “A Silent Night” at the Kennedy Center in 2014. That program, which also pays homage to World War I through the music of composers who lived through, fought in, and died in the Great War, was also sponsored by Vocal Arts DC. It was hailed by The Washington Post as “refreshingly, marvelously different.” Since then, Brancy and Dugan have given recitals presented by Carnegie Hall, Chamber Music Society of Palm Beach, St. John’s College, University of Chicago, Société d’art Vocal de Montréal, and more. Together they won First Prize at the 2018 Montreal International Music Competition and Second Prize at the 2017 Wigmore Hall International Song Competition.

Both artists maintain lively and unique individual careers. Brancy is a frequent soloist with the Boston Symphony, and his opera work includes performances in Yuval Sharon’s production of Meredith Monk’s Atlas with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, as Mercutio in Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet under the baton of Lorenzo Viotti, and as the title role in the Boston Modern Opera Project’s production of Tobias Picker’s Fantastic Mr. Fox, a performance which won the Grammy for Best Opera Recording.

Dugan’s work as a soloist has included performances and an album with Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony, as well as appearances with the Houston Symphony and New World Symphony. He is a frequent recital partner of violinists Joshua Bell and Charles Yang, and his work as a multi-genre artist has included collaborations with Jesse Colin Young and Glenn Close.

"John Brancy and Peter Dugan have deservedly achieved impressive honors, both individually and together, since we presented them in their Washington debuts fresh out of Juilliard in December 2014,” says Peter Russell, General Director at Vocal Arts DC. “Their commitment to preserving the legacy of World War I through music and poetry is a model of programming brilliance and artistic excellence."

Vocal Arts DC presents a full season of classical song recitals by some of the world’s finest singers at the Kennedy Center’s Terrace Theater. Our performances are supplemented by educational and social events that foster personal contacts between performers, composers and audience members. Typically showcasing a single classically-trained singer and a world-class pianist unaided by amplification, our concerts cover a wide range of the world’s great song literature, increasingly including newly composed works commissioned by our performers or by Vocal Arts DC itself.