© 2024 WRTI
Your Classical and Jazz Source
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

LIVE Broadcast on WRTI 90.1: The Philadelphia Orchestra's MLK Tribute Concert at Girard College

Wikipedia Commons
Martin Luther King Jr. addresses a crowd from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where he delivered his famous, I Have a Dream speech during the Aug. 28, 1963, march on Washington, D.C.

Join us on Monday, January 20th at approximately 4:10 PM for a LIVE broadcast of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert at Girard College's historic chapel, honoring the life and legacy of Dr. King.
Listen on WRTI 90.1, stream the concert at WRTI.org, or listen on WRTI's mobile App! WRTI's Gregg Whiteside is your host.

Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts the 90-minute concert, a tradition since 1991. The program showcases works by African-American composers such as Richard Smallwood’s “Total Praise” and the spiritual “Lift Every Voice and Sing,” performed by the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts choir; and Umoja, Anthem for Unity by Valerie Coleman, a work premiered by the Orchestra earlier this season as part of the ensemble’s WomenNOW celebration.

Credit Jeff Fusco
The Philadelphia Orchestra performing at Girard College in 2017.

The program also includes Barber’s Adagio for Strings with a recitation of excerpts from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech by speaker Charlotte Blake Alston—a stirring arrangement that has become an event staple for the past 15 years.

The concert will also include audience participation in Pauline Oliveros’s “Tuning Meditation” from Four Meditations for Orchestra, and a performance of the third movement from Lalo’s Cello Concerto featuring the Philadelphia Orchestra debut of cellist Sterling Elliot, winner of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition Senior Division.

“On behalf of Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin and The Philadelphia Orchestra, we are honored to participate in such an inspirational day of service with members of our beloved Philadelphia communities,” says Philadelphia Orchestra President and CEO Matías Tarnopolsky. “Today we celebrate Dr. King’s vision of a better world through the power of music, and music’s power to bring out the best in people and to unite us all.”

This is the Philadelphia Orchestra's seventh consecutive year of performing at Girard College, the home of Global Citizen’s Greater Philadelphia Martin Luther King Day of Service.

Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concert Broadcast on WRTI 90.1 and streaming at WRTI.org

January 20th from Girard College Chapel, 4:10 PM (approximately)

Yannick Nézet-Séguin, conductor
Sterling Elliott, cello
Charlotte Blake Alston, speaker
Choir of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA)
B. Lauren Thomas, director


Coleman - Umoja, Anthem for Unity

Lalo - Third movement from Cello Concerto

Handel/arr. Warren - “Hallelujah,” from Handel’s Messiah: A Soulful Celebration

Oliveros - “The Tuning Meditation,” from Four Meditations for Orchestra

Barber - Adagio for Strings

Smallwood - "Total Praise"

Johnson -  "Lift Every Voice and Sing"

The concert is free, but tickets are required and available atphilorch.org. Seating will be general admission and is first-come, first-served. Tickets do not guarantee entry and there is a limit of four per household. Doors will open at 3:30 PM.