MLK Chicago Sinfonietta
by Annette Dixon
Chicago Sinfonietta had the most finest Tribute to MLK I had ever attended, and that has been for 12 years. Diversity has always been Martin Luther King’s philosophy, back in the late 50’s and 60’s, but the word was integration. Dr. Martin Luther King Sr. and his son where part of the Baptist Congregation that met with Father Edward Laramie, pastor of St. Martin Catholic Church in 1953. I was a child and helped to set up the complimentary sweet table during their breaks. I met many Reverends that were there from all over the United States, Martin Luther King Jr. was probably 20 and very shy. His father spoke to me and he was most popular with the group of Baptist leaders. Father Laramie’s intention was to
keep the Catholic Church alive and with the exodus of white people leaving the parish, he found a way to keep Catholicism growing with new homeowners and residents of the parish. Bingo was the economic tool that kept the Catholic school and church functioning.
What did this have to do with MLK? Simple, interfaith, intervention. Sharing and exploring new ideas and knowing what leaders can contribute to one another, regardless of Race. I learned something then and again now.
First of all let us mention that Chicago Sinfonietta was founded by an African American, Dr. Paul Freeman, who integrated music by introducing the public to not only his works, but those of well know composers. His legacy has remained within his time and after his death. As Mei-Ann
Chen, Conductor of Sinfoneitta stated on January 20, 2020, this is a first for Sinfonietta, at Chicago Symphony Orchestra, 2020. This is the concert that sold the most tickets, almost a sell out, the first most diversified audience, and the most performers on sage at the same time.
The tribute from Kymberli Joye of the Voice as a solo singing Up To the Mountain accompanied by Assistant Conductor of the Sinfoneitta, also her brother Jonathan Rush, and Guest Conductor, Kendrick Armstrong and the Andrian Dunn Singers helped me experience the sound I so remembered
in my youth.
Second half of the concert featured Symphony No. 2 in C Minor Resurrection, Gustau Mahler with Summer Hassan Soprano, Leah Dexter, Mezzo-soprano, North Central Concert Choir, Roosevelt University Conservatory Chorus. That was it folks, hope it will be a sell out next year