Martin Luther King, Jr.’s legacy lives on more than 45 years after his death and will be celebrated through academic, spiritual and cultural initiatives throughout the nation and here in Delaware later this month. Local students and volunteers from businesses and organizations will participate in acts of service. And artists will offer performances at The Music School of Delaware celebrating Dr. King’s life and the civil rights movement he led.
Remembrances are important to younger generations who didn’t experience the civil rights movement of the ’60s. “Unfortunately young people seldom learn about the complexities of the civil rights movement in our nation’s public schools. Social injustices persists in a contemporary world culture in a myriad of forms,” said Raye Jones Avery, executive director of the Christina Cultural Arts Center, Inc., (CACC).
The CACC Dance Ensemble and other artists will perform at The Music School of Delaware on Friday, January 17th at the School’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. & Black History Tribute. The event will feature poetry readings, band performances, DJ mixes, and dance. Beginning at 7 pm, this popular concert will showcase a collaborative effort by a variety of artists that honors Dr. King and serves as a prelude to Black History Month.
“Commemorative programs celebrating the lives of freedom fighters such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela and others give today’s youth a glimpse into a time before they were born,” said CACC’s Avery. “Young artists at Christina (middle and high school age youth) are elevated by the opportunity to connect history, creative expression and activism in meaningful ways by participating in The Music School of Delaware program. The evening promises to be both provocative and inspirational.”
Live music is the cornerstone of the tribute, and the Tidewater Brass Band will bring New Orleans-style jazz to the Music School program. The Tidewater Brass Band is dedicated to performing New Orleans jazz in a manner that remains true to the earthy music that developed on the streets of New Orleans.
“We are a roots band with church music and blues at the foundation of our style,” said bandleader Jim Yurasek. “From my reading of history, I know that Dr. King was particularly fond of the music of the common people, particularly gospel music. I think he would enjoy the church hymns that we will be performing in accompaniment of Jackie Faulcon.”
This year’s program will also include traditional spirituals, stage performance treatments of Dr. King’s most famous speeches, and works by American composer and pianist Louis Moreau Gottschalk performed by Clarence Faulcon and Jacqueline Beach Faulcon. Dr. Jacqueline Beach Faulcon, soprano & piano, is a member of the voice and piano faculty with special distinction at The Music School of Delaware. She has received numerous teaching awards and has performed as a soloist throughout the world.
Tickets are $5. Proceeds from the concert benefit the Jacqueline Beach Faulcon Scholarship Fund, which is designated for persons of color.
The event will feature performances by Wilmington’s Twin Poets, this year’s Jacqueline Beach Faulcon scholarship winners and a pre-concert DJ workshop by DJ Amaze from 6 to 6:45 pm. “Music has always been called a universal language,” said DJ Amaze. “I am looking forward to using this medium to celebrate and creatively demonstrate Dr. King’s mission. If he were still living, I know he would be pleased with how the school uses music to bring people together with programs like this one!”
Work by visual artists B. Ben Pearce and Elmslie W. Wharton will be featured, and Clarence Faulcon will read from W.E.B. Du Bois’ 1903 masterwork, “The Souls of Black Folk.” A drawing will be held during the concert for Gullah cookbooks and cooking ingredients, as well as a copy of Du Bois’s book.
The event is part of the Music School’s Cultural Crossroads Concert Series, which celebrates the rich musical diversity of our world and community through events that integrate a variety of art forms. Ticket reservations are strongly encouraged. For more information, call (302) 762-1132 or visit www.musicschoolofdelaware.org.