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 Wind Quintet, host and Symphony Board Member Dr. Marvin Curtis, guest violist Cameren Anai Williams, and church choirs for three evenings that celebrate Dr. King’s life and legacy.

The first concert begins at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 12 at Faith Alive Ministries, the following night at 7 p.m. on Thursday, January 13 at Olivet AME Church, with the final performance at 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.


*Faith Alive Ministries date was rescheduled to March 27 at 7 p.m.