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Virginia Symphony Orchestra presents second annual tribute to Dr. M.L. King, Jr.

December 26, 2012


In honor of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the City of Norfolk and the Virginia Symphony Orchestra will present a special concert, Songs for a Dreamer: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The concert is free and open to the public and is presented in conjunction with the City of Norfolk's Neighbors Building Neighborhoods program and as part of the VSO's HARMONY Project. It will take place on Sunday, January 13, 2012 at 7 p.m. at Calvary Revival Church, 5833 Poplar Hall Drive, Norfolk, VA 23502.

"The commemoration of our great visionaries and leaders provides a framework for community health and engagement," stated Bob Batcher, Public Relations Manager for the City of Norfolk and host of Norfolk Perspectives. "This, combined with an appreciation of our culture brings an understanding and trust among our neighbors."

Benjamin Rous will conduct the program featuring music either inspired by the African-American experience or written by African-American composers and African-European composers. Among the pieces featured on the program will be "Songs of Love and Justice," by Adolphus Hailstork, a nationally and internationally renowned local composer; the Martin Luther King section of Duke Ellington's "Three Black Kings," featuring saxophonist, Stephanie Sanders; and from Robert Ray's "A Gospel Mass," the "Acclamation" and "Gloria" sections featuring Norfolk State University's Vocal Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Frank T. Elliott. This year's "Dreamer Award" will be presented posthumously to the family of the late Virginia State Senator Yvonne B. Miller.

The Virginia Symphony's HARMONY Project focuses on the partnership between the orchestra and several historically African-American church congregations in the Hampton Roads communities. It is underwritten by the Norfolk Arts and Humanities Commission, the Portsmouth Arts Commission, the Newport News Arts Commission and The National Endowment for the Arts. For information, contact the Virginia Symphony Education and Community Engagement office at 757-213-1421 or the City of Norfolk at 757-664-4253.

Under the leadership of GRAMMY-winning music director, JoAnn Falletta, the Virginia Symphony is Southeastern Virginia's pre-eminent professional symphony orchestra.