Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was fatally shot fifty years ago on April 4, 1968, in Memphis, Tennessee. This was, no doubt, a dark time in our nation's history. Poet, preacher, and prophet, King left an extraordinary legacy as the leader of our country's civil rights movement. In this tribute concert, the Chorale will present Kirke Mechem's stirring choral suite Songs of the Slave, along with orchestrated settings of traditional spirituals, such as I’m Runnin’ On and Saints Bound for Heaven. The concert will draw attention to historical figures such as John Brown, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman and to the music and voices of African-American artists William Grant Still, Langston Hughes and Maya Angelou. Including Dana Wilson's powerful musical setting of King's famous I Have a Dream speech, delivered from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on August 28, 1963, this concert promises to be one of the most moving in the Chorale's history.
The concert will feature the Larimer Chorale Orchestra and soloists, Justin Austin, baritone, and Stephanie Ann Ball, soprano. In addition to joining the Larimer Chorale in singing the spirituals and other pieces, Austin will play the role of Frederick Douglass in Songs of the Slave, a concert suite based on material from the opera, John Brown. The opera tells the story of Brown, the charismatic abolitionist who dedicated his life to the destruction of American slavery. In the concert suite, Frederick Douglass, an escaped slave, is the central figure. Douglass became an influential orator and statesman and was the greatest African-American leader of the nineteenth century.
William Grant Still (1895-1978) is considered the Dean of African-American composers and is known for his many historical and musical achievements. Ms. Ball will sing Grant’s From the Hearts of Women, a song cycle for soprano and orchestra with poetry by Verna Arvey (1910-1987), Grant’s wife and a prominent musician, lyricist, and librettist in her own right. Each of the four movements explores the experiences of different African-American women at the mid-point of the twentieth century.
Other works in the concert feature music by contemporary composers. MLK is from U2’s 1984 album, “The Unforgettable Fire.” The chorale women will sing Love Arrives, Tom Trenney’s (b. 1977) setting of a remarkable poem by Maya Angelou. The chorale men will sing Harriet Tubman, based on a poem by Eloise Greenfield (b. 1929) and arranged by Rollo Dilworth (b.1970), one of the most popular arrangers of spirituals and Gospel music in the country.
The concert will conclude with Evan Mack’s Words Like Freedom (Dream of Freedom), based on the poetry of Langston Hughes. This piece, a fusion of Broadway, Gospel, and spiritual styles, is a dramatic, emotional plea for truth and justice.
Complete program notes and bios of the soloists are available at http://www.larimerchorale.org/concerts/i-have-dream-remembering-martin-luther-king-jr
What: The Larimer Chorale I Have a Dream: Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.
WHEN: April 6 and April 7, at 7:30 pm,
WHERE: First United Methodist Church, 1005 Stover Street, Fort Collins
TICKETS: ADVANCE PURCHASE HIGHLY RECOMMENDED. Adults $25. Students/First Responders $15
Visit the Lincoln Center Ticket Office at 417 West Magnolia (no fees) or call 970-221-6730 or buy online at http://www.lctix.com/i-have-a-dream
About The Larimer Chorale:
The Larimer Chorale is one of the largest and most accomplished avocational choral ensembles in the Rocky Mountain Region. We are an auditioned, adult choir that was created by our community, for our community. Through our concerts, events, and outreach activities, we actively demonstrate that singing is a life-long endeavor that brings fulfillment and enrichment to singers and audiences alike. We sing for the joy it brings to us and our audiences and out of a deep dedication to music and our community.