Concert celebrates legacy of Martin Luther King Jr.
The Brotherhood Chorale
Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert
Music Institute of Chicago, Nichols Concert Hall, 1490 Chicago Ave., Evanston
5 p.m. Jan. 20
Admission free; seating first come-first served
$10 suggested contribution to support the William Warfield Memorial Scholarship Fund
Updated: January 16, 2013 11:46AM
Five young musicians will perform on a program with the 180-voice Brotherhood Chorale at 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 20.
They are all recipients of the Music Institute of Chicago’s William Warfield Memorial Scholarship Fund.
This will be the ninth year the Chorale has come to Nichols Concert Hall to celebrate with music the life and legacy of American civil rights martyr, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
“We have featured some scholarship winners in past concerts,” said Mark George, president and CEO of the Music Institute of Chicago, “but this year we are presenting five.”
The musicians include piano students Jada Adamson-Tate, 9, of Skokie and Nina Liverpool, 9, of Highland Park; violists Lucienne Williams, 12, and Mira Williams, 14, both of Chicago, as well as violinist Hannah White, 12, of Germantown, Wis.
They will play an introduction to the Chorale’s presentation of the beloved hymn “Amazing Grace.” George, himself a musician, arranged parts for the scholarship winners. “They are at various levels of ability,” he explained, “so I wrote their parts to reflect that.”
The Music Institute established its William Warfield Memorial Scholarship Fund after the great American bass-baritone died in 2002 at the age of 82. Funds have been distributed to promising young minority students since 2006 to be used to study with distinguished teachers at the Music Institute.
Warfield Scholarship recipients not performing on the program include trumpeter Braden Adamson-Tate, 12, of Skokie, and Adé Williams, 15, of Chicago.
“William Warfield was a member of the Music Institute board of directors and a wonderful friend to us,” George said. The distinguished singer performed “Ol’ Man River” in the 1951 MGM film version of Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein II’s Broadway musical “Show Boat,” He portrayed the role of Porgy in the European tour of Gershwin’s “Porgy and Bess” in 1952.
In addition to doing concerts and oratorios, he joined the music faculty of the University of Illinois at Urbana in 1975 and moved to Northwestern University’s School of Music in Evanston in 1994, where he stayed until his death. He was honored with the Music Institute’s prestigious Dushkin Award in 1996.
Planning the 2013 Chorale program started just after the 2012 concert. “There are so many details to be worked out,” George explained. “The Chorale’s coordinator is Kiel Williams. He handles the logistics of bringing not only the singers but band members to Nichols Concert Hall.
“Williams is also a terrific tenor with the Chorale,” he added. “Last fall gave his own recital at Nichols.” Sunday he will be soloist in the Chorale’s performance of “I’ll Walk with God” by Nicholas Brodzsky and with soprano Elizabeth Norman-Sojourner he will sing “The Prayer” by Carole Bayer-Sager and David Foster.
The program, which has 17 numbers, also includes the hymn “Precious Lord,” written by gospel musician Thomas Andrew Dorsey, with Norman-Sojourner as soloist, and the Southern folk melody “Bound for the Promised Land” in an arrangement by Milwaukee composer and choral director Emily Crocker.
Darrell Loving will be tenor soloist in “In Christ Alone” by Keith Getty, with Sherry Loving interpreting the song in dance.
“The program lasts about 90 minutes, but sometimes,” said George, with a little laugh, “the choir is having such a good time, that they just keep going.”
The Brotherhood Chorale was founded in Chicago in 1969 with less than 30 members. Under the guidance of its director, Brian Rice, the Chorale has grown six-fold. It performs every fourth Sunday for services at the Apostolic Church of God, 6320 S. Dorchester in Chicago. The choir has been featured at the South Shore Cultural Center and with the Chicago Civic Orchestra, among others.
The Mayor of Evanston, Elizabeth B. Tisdahl will speak at the concert. The event is part of a weekend of festivities surrounding the 150th anniversary of the City of Evanston.