The Wilmington Symphony Orchestra presents “A Change is Gonna Come”, on Saturday, February 8, 2014 at 8:00 p.m. in Kenan Auditorium. The program commemorates the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Bill through the music of the era and readings from Dr. Martin Luther King’s work. Joining the Wilmington Symphony for this 50th Anniversary musical celebration is the Williston Alumni Community Choir directed by Marva Robinson. Also spotlighted will be the winners of the Wilmington Symphony’s 37th Annual Student Concerto Competition.
Conductor Steven Errante says, "The passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 happened because of the unflinchingly brave efforts of people from diverse backgrounds, and often music was both the inspiration and a factor that helped unite them. The Wilmington Symphony is celebrating this 50th anniversary with music in hopes that we'll remember the struggle and recognize that there is still work to do."
The Williston Alumni Community Choir will be featured in Sam Cooke’s 1964 classic “A Change is Gonna Come” written in a bus after a sit-in demonstration, “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to be Free,” a title that expresses one of the fundamental themes of the Civil Rights movement, and “Freedom Medley,” a compilation of Civil Rights songs such as “We Shall Overcome” “Down by the Riverside”, and “This Train She’s Bound for Glory.” The Wilmington Symphony also performs Adolphus Hailstork’s “Three Spirituals for Orchestra.
Choir Director Marva Robinson has thrilled audiences locally and nationally with her unique vocal quality. Marva is also a retired Brunswick County School music educator and continues her active community involvement through work with Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Links, Inc. and other organizations. Williston Alumni Community Choir members include graduates of Wilmington schools known prior to their desegregation in 1968 as Williston Industrial School and Williston Senior High School.
Sharing their youthful energy with the program are Clara Hare-Grogg, high school division winner of the student concerto competition performing the first movement of Kabalevsky’s Concerto for Violin, and Kyle Miller, UNCW division winner performing the first movement of Mozart’s Piano Concerto #23 in A, K.488.