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For immediate release
January 15, 2002
Contact: NPR
Tracey Terry ,

A King Celebration 2002 To Broadcast National

Washington, DC-On Monday Jan. 21, 2002 NPR® will present A King Celebration to national radio audiences on NPR's daily classical music program, Performance Today®. This marks the 10th annual musical tribute to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This year's program features soprano Indra Thomas, NPR's Korva Coleman, the ASO led by guest conductor André Raphel Smith, the Spelman College Glee Club directed by Dr. Kevin Johnson and the Morehouse College Glee Club directed by Dr. David Morrow. Since 1992 this annual event has become one of the most celebrated national tributes to Dr. King, heralding the African-American experience in classical music.

A King Celebration 2002 will be recorded live in Atlanta on Jan. 17 and 18, 2002 and broadcast over more than 250 public radio stations nationally on Jan. 21. NPR's Fred Child will host the broadcast. For nationwide station information and broadcast times, please visit NPR's Web site at

The 10th Anniversary of A King Celebration is made possible though a collaboration of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, NPR, The King Center and Morehouse and Spelman Colleges. This concert is supported by grants from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts and the City of Atlanta, Bureau of Cultural Affairs. The corporate sponsor for "A King Celebration" is Worldspan.


The program will begin with Beethoven's Overture to Egmont, a moving drama about a Dutch dissident beheaded for his beliefs, then Samuel Barber's Knoxville: Summer of 1915 featuring Metropolitan Opera regular and Decatur native, soprano Indra Thomas. Ms. Thomas was also featured as the young gospel singer in the Oscar-winning movie Driving Miss Daisy. She plans to make her Chicago Lyric Opera debut this season. The Barber work was a favorite of opera great Leontyne Price and was considered one of her "party pieces." This year marks the 75th anniversary of Ms. Price's birth.

Adolphus Hailstork's Songs of Isaiah is an elegy to MLK and will be performed by the Morehouse Glee Club with the orchestra. Conductor André Raphel Smith will lead the ASO in Michael Abels' Dance for Martin's Dream. Korva Coleman, NPR newscaster and host of both Performance Today (weekend) and SymphonyCast, will narrate Mario Abril's Migrations.

The final piece in the program is Roland Carter's Hold Fast to Dreams, featuring the ASO with the Spelman and Morehouse College Glee Clubs. This is the orchestral premiere for this piece, originally composed for piano and chorus. Hold Fast to Dreams is based on two poems by Langston Hughes, one of the pioneers of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920's and 30's. This year marks the 100th birthday anniversary of Mr. Hughes.

For details about other King Week events being held in Atlanta from January 18th to 21st, please visit The King Center site at