FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Two concerts celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and showcase The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, spoken-word artist Vanessa German, and other singers and instrumentalists from the Pittsburgh area, Sat., Jan. 19 and Mon., Jan. 21
Geographic, demographic, and economic lines are blurred in the spirit of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., when choirs from city and suburb converge to celebrate King’s legacy in the Sixth Annual LET FREEDOM SING! two-concert series of inspiring music and oratory, Sat., Jan. 19 and Sun., Jan. 21, both at 7 pm. Held over the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend, the concerts feature The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, combined high school and church choirs from city and suburb, as well as performance artist Vanessa German and other special guests.
Collaborating again on the sixth LET FREEDOM SING! concerts are co-artistic directors Rev. Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones, director of The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, and Kris Rust, director of choirs, Franklin Regional High School. Jones and Rust program more than a dozen musical selections, woven with the stirring performance of spoken word artist Vanessa German.
The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir will present a set of choral pieces in the first part of the program. For the final part of the concert, The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir joins forces with Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church Choir, Franklin Regional High School Chorus, Greater Pittsburgh Unitarian Universalist Church Choirs, McKeesport High School Choir, Norwin High School Choir, Wilkinsburg High School Choir and others singers from the community. At the Saturday Concert, acclaimed folk singer Ellen Gozion will perform a set of American folk songs. Monday’s concert will feature jazz singer and Murrysville native Carolyn Perteete.
- On Sat., Jan. 19 at 7 pm LET FREEDOM SING! takes place in East Liberty at Sixth Mount Zion Baptist Church, 6556 Shetland Ave., Pittsburgh, 15206.
- On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Mon., Jan. 21 at 7 pm, the concert is atFranklin Regional High School, 3200 School Rd., Murrysville, PA 15668.
Let Freedom Sing! brings together black communities and white communities, city neighborhoods and suburbs, and young and old participants and audience members in the spirit of Dr. King’s vision.
“Much of our country, including western Pennsylvania, is segregated along racial and economic lines ,” says founder Kris Rust. “We started these concerts as a way to address that in our communities and with my students. Of course, Let Freedom Sing also exposures my students to great music and poetry.”
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Vanessa German, Pittsburgh multi-disciplinary artist, is a photographer, poet, actress, sculptor, designer and educator who believes in the seamlessness of creative process and purpose. She was named Emerging Artist of the Year by the Pittsburgh Center for the Arts in 2012 and won the Duquesne Light Leadership Award in 2007, among other honors. In 2012, Vanessa founded LOVE FRONT PORCH, a grassroots arts outreach from her home in Homewood where children are invited to stop by and create art. Her work is on exhibit nationwide.
Ellen Gozion is a renowned singer of American and British folk music and a sensitive instrumentalist known for her work as a member of her group The Early Mays. Regional audiences have seen her in concert for such groups as Calliope House and Chatham Baroque. Her solo and ensemble work has been acclaimed nationally and regionally. She has been praised for being “credible and refreshingly different” (Netrhythms.com), and has been described a “…captivating sing(er), at once deeply rooted in the traditions that she has carefully studied and yet totally individual.” (Adam Hurt).
Carolyn Perteete is a fixture in the Pittsburgh jazz scene, performing with jazz greats Roger Humphries, Dwayne Dolphin, Jimmy Ponder and Poogie Bell. Carolyn recorded on Sean Jones’ album, ‘Kaleidoscope’, released in August 2007, touring nationally and internationally with Jones that year. Carolyn can also be heard on Sean’s 2009 album ‘The Search Within’. Carolyn is recognized as a musician’s singer who strives to break creative boundaries and introduce original compositions into her repertoire. Carolyn is a Pittsburgh native and alumna of Duquesne University.
ABOUT THE PITTSBURGH GOSPEL CHOIR
The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, under the direction of Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones, is acclaimed for its inspirational performances of American gospel music throughout Western Pennsylvania. Through its engagement of singers of all ages, races, and ethnicities, the choir serves and cultivates diverse choir membership and audiences by infusing an appreciation of gospel music, including new works and arrangements. Founded in 2007 as a project of The River City Brass Band, The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir was the first regional ensemble dedicated to the genre.
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