Published: Jan. 14, 2014

College of Music pays tribute to MLK with events, presents full recording of 'I Have A Dream' speech

Contact(s): Michael Sundermann College of Music office: (517) 353-2043, Kathleen Adams College of Music office: (517) 353-9958

The MSU College of Music will take part in the campus-wide celebration commemorating the life and work of Martin Luther King Jr. with a variety of events.

Along with James Madison College, the College of Music will present two free Jazz Music History events as part of the university's “Project 60/50” initiative. Marcie Hutchinson, noted jazz historian and history instructor from Arizona State University, will offer a lecture, entitled “The Great Migration 1900-1941,” at 3:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17 in Room 103, Music Practice Building. The following day, Saturday, Jan. 18, Hutchinson will lead a jazz musicology workshop from 10 a.m. to noon at Hart Recital Hall in the Music Building.

Hutchinson runs a program in Arizona, called “Jazz from A to Z: Bringing Jazz to Mesa Schools,” that focuses on integrating American jazz history into high school history, music, and dance classrooms.

On Sunday, Jan. 19, two performances of the concert, “Jazz: Spirituals, Prayer and Protest,” will be held at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. at Wharton Center’s Pasant Theatre. The theme of this year’s jazz concerts is “Women in Jazz,” highlighting Mahalia Jackson, Dinah Washington, Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughn, Billie Holiday and Abbey Lincoln.

“These concerts give us an opportunity to celebrate and further promote how far we have come in regards to equality and justice,” said Rodney Whitaker, director of the jazz studies program at MSU.

Paulette Granberry Russell, senior adviser to the president for diversity and the director of the Office for Inclusion and Intercultural Initiatives; Jeff Wray, associate professor of film studies and creative studies; and Pamela Bellamy, director of the MSU Pre-College Programs, among others, will be speaking at both concerts.

Then, on Monday, Jan. 20, the College of Music will host “Listen: MLK Speaks,” a continuous loop audio of King’s full “I Have A Dream” speech that will play approximately every 20 minutes between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. in Cook Recital Hall of the Music Building at 333 West Circle Drive.

The concerts, lectures and presentations of the speech are free and open to the public; no tickets are required.

This year’s MSU MLK commemoration is launching “Project 60/50” – a yearlong celebration using the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education and the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to engage the MSU campus and greater community in a broad range of civil and human rights conversations.

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