Press Release 

January 11, 2021

Immediate Release

The South Bend Symphony Orchestra partners with local churches to applaud and commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the cultural significance of African American music in a series titled “Celebration for a King.” The public is welcome to join the Symphony’s Woodwind Quintet, host and Symphony Board Member Dr. Marvin Curtis, guest violist Cameren Anai Williams, and church choirs for two evenings that celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy. 

The first concert begins at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 13 at Olivet AME Church. The next performance is 7 p.m. on Friday, January 14, 2022, at Sweet Home Ministries. Each concert will conclude with Holy, Holy, Holy arranged by Dr. Curtis. 

These concerts bring together the vision of Dr. Curtis and the Symphony’s commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Dr. Curtis adds, “These concerts are designed to bring the spirit of Dr. King and the music of the African American composers together and celebrate both of these in a space, which was the Black Church, where it was nurtured. This series is also a chance to provide the opportunity for local church choirs to partner with the South Bend Symphony. We hope these concerts help to bring all of the communities of South Bend together to experience and learn from each other.” 

This concert will feature works by some of the greatest African American composers and musicians such as Valerie Coleman and William Grant Still.  

“From the beginning, Dr. Curtis made sure that the Symphony was a major part of South Bend’s annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration. This new format is the latest in his decades-long commitment to music and its ability to bring us together,” said Symphony Executive Director Justus Zimmerman. “The Symphony made a major commitment in the wake of the killing of George Floyd to examine our place as a symphony for all of South Bend. It was important to us to bring the music out of the concert hall and into the community, and I’m excited to see where this journey takes us.”

The South Bend Symphony Wind Quintet features Leslie Short, flute; Jennet Ingle, oboe; Trevor O’Riordan, clarinet; Kurt Civilette, French Horn; and Steve Ingle, Bassoon. 

The concert series is free and open to the public; however, registration is required to manage space requirements. Please secure your seat with the registration links listed with each location. The concerts will last for 75 minutes and will not include intermission. Donations will be accepted. 

Special thanks to Cari and Barry Shein and NIPSCO for making this concert series possible. We are grateful to Pastor Eileen Thomas and Olivet AME Church, and Bishop Erskine Jones and Sweet Home Ministries for opening their doors to host the concert series. The South Bend Symphony Orchestra acknowledges additional operating support from the Indiana Arts Commission.

WHEN AND WHERE

Thursday, January 13, 2022, at 7 p.m. 

Olivet AME Church  

719 N Notre Dame Ave., South Bend, IN 46617  

Register on EventBrite (www.eventbrite.com/e/228547400427), or on the Symphony’s website or
Facebook page 

 

Friday, January 14, 2022, at 7 p.m. 

Sweet Home Ministries   

410 S Taylor St., South Bend, Indiana 46601  

Register on EventBrite (www.eventbrite.com/e/228471092187), or on the Symphony’s website or
Facebook page 

VIEW the 2021-22 Season schedule, visit www.southbendsymphony.org.

REMINDER – Regardless of vaccination status all patrons are required to wear their masks during performances. Concerts will be recorded for future use. 

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About the South Bend Symphony Orchestra 

Embarking on the 89th season, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra is the region’s only professional orchestra and is committed to engaging the community in all it does. In addition to being recognized by the National Endowment for the Arts and other state and local arts funding organizations, the South Bend Symphony Orchestra is the recipient of the Community Foundation of St. Joseph County’s 2019 Leighton Award for Nonprofit Excellence, which recognizes the best-run nonprofit organization in St. Joseph County, Indiana. 

Media Contact

Sarah Perschbacher

574-232-6343 or sperschbacher@southbendsymphony.org

About Cameren Anai Williams

Cameren Anai Williams, a native of West Palm Beach, FL, is a fourth-year bachelor student studying viola performance at The Juilliard School as a recipient of the Jerome L. Greene fellowship. She was principal violist of the Youth Orchestra of Palm Beach County Philharmonic Orchestra, principal violist in the New World Symphony Side-by-Side Orchestra, co-principal violist of the Principal Orchestra of Florida Youth Orchestra, assistant principal violist in the Aspen Philharmonic Orchestra, a member of the New York String Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Jaime Laredo, a member of the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America under the baton of maestro Michael Tilson Thomas and currently plays with The Soulful Symphony and The Juilliard Orchestra. Cameren studies under the tutelage of Professor Carol Rodland. Williams has been fortunate enough to receive scholarships to summer programs such as The Sphinx Performance Academy, Aspen Music Festival, and the National Youth Orchestra of the United States of America on their tour of Asia. During the summer of 2021, Williams studied with Carol Rodland at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. While attending summer programs, she has had lessons and masterclasses with Eric Nowlin (principal viola of Detroit Symphony), Roberto Diaz (Curtis Institute of Music), Matthew Lipman (soloist), Jeffrey Irvine (Cleveland Institute of Music), Heidi Castleman (The Juilliard School), Nokuthula Ngwenyama (soloist and composer), and several other notable musicians.

Williams was awarded a spot on the Center for Musical Excellence’s (CME) Young Artists roster for the 2021 season. CME is an organization that provides individual financial support and performance opportunities to young musicians aspiring to pursue a career in the classical music world.

 

Williams had her solo debut at Carnegie Hall at age 13 as a winner of the American Protégé Competition playing J. C. Bach’s Concerto in c minor. She has competed in several different competitions in the nation and has placed in the Sarasota Young Artists Competition (4th place), South Florida Youth Solo Competition (winner), DSOA Concerto Competition (winner), and the Omega Psi Phi Talent Hunt (winner of the district, state, and regional levels). As a result of her winnings, she has soloed with the Palm Beach Atlantic Symphony Orchestra, ViolaFest Miami Orchestra, and the DSOA Philharmonic. As an aspiring chamber musician, Williams is also a member of The Marian String Quartet. This group was formed in the spring semester of 2021 and was awarded a spot in Juilliard’s Honors Chamber Music Program for the 2021-2022 school year. The group’s focus is performing works by women-identifying composers.

Cameren’s career goal is to focus on chamber and orchestral performance while maintaining a teaching position at a university or conservatory. She teaches private violin and viola students in Florida and in New York. She currently holds a MAP Fellowship where she gets the opportunity to teach and collaborate with Juilliard’s Music Advancement Program faculty in the classroom and orchestral settings.

Cameren’s foundation, CamAnai Strings, repairs affordable yet high-quality instruments for students who have the talent but lack the financial resources to purchase an instrument (www.CamAnaiStrings.org). Williams has participated in programs from California to Cremona, Italy studying the art of being a luthier. The most recent project of CamAnai Strings was the children’s book, Kinderlute: A Young Musician’s Guide to Taking Care of String Instruments, now available on Amazon and in the Juilliard Store in six languages. Cameren currently plays on a 1980 “Kinu Inge” Hiroshi Iizuka traditional 16 ½ viola. Mr. Iizuka made this viola paying homage to his oldest daughter, Kinu Inge.