Black History Month choral concert to honor MLK

The program focuses on African American spiritual pieces intertwined with readings of writings and speeches by great Americans such as Frederick Douglass, Abraham Lincoln, Pearl S. Buck, Langston Hughes and  Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Also showcased as guest readers are Fresno State Theatre major, Jimmy Haynie, and Fresno City College Staff member, Jewell Riversmith.

The Fresno State Choirs in collaboration with the Fresno City College Choirs and guests from Clovis North High School will perform “Walk in Peace: A celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Black History Month” at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8 at the Fresno City College Old Administration Building Auditorium. Admission is free. Parking is $1.

This is the third annual Walk in Peace concert featuring the Fresno State Choirs, under the direction of Dr. Cari Earnhart, in collaboration with the Fresno City College Choirs, under the direction of Professor Julie Dana. Also joining will be guest choirs from Clovis North High School, under the direction of Heather Bishop. This annual collaboration has quickly become a highlight for both the Fresno State and Fresno City College choral departments.

“As singers, we are not just interpreters of songs, but the true artistry lies in not only capturing the spirit of the words before us but bringing new life and a promise of hope through each piece we sing,” said Dr. Cari Earnhart, Director of Choral Activities at Fresno State. “It is our hope that this concert will not only honor the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. during the 50th anniversary of his tragic death but leave our audience with a sense of peace, hope, and unity.”

The program will give each choir an opportunity to perform individually with the final pieces combining the Fresno State Concert Choir, Chamber Singers, and the Fresno City Singers for U2’s “MLK” and an arrangement of “We Shall Overcome.” We will then be joined by the Clovis North Choirs for Coleman’s arrangement of “The Trumpet Sounds Within-a My Soul,” which will feature Professor Elisha Wilson, Director of Bands at Fresno City College. The women of all the choirs will come together for an arrangement of “Ain’t No Grave Can Hold My Body Down.”

“The choirs and I are excited to again join together with our colleagues from Fresno City College. It is truly a beautiful exchange between the two schools,” said Earnhart.

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The College of Arts and Humanities provides a diverse student population with the communication skills, humanistic values and cultural awareness that form the foundation of scholarship. The college offers intellectual and artistic programs that engage students and faculty and the community in collaboration, dialog and discovery. These programs help preserve, illuminate and nourish the arts and humanities for the campus and for the wider community.

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