SMTD’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium Events

The University of Michigan will once again celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. with the annual MLK symposium, with events taking place between January 12 and February 23. The theme of the 2016 MLK Symposium is #WhoWillBeNext, and School of Music, Theatre & Dance students, faculty and guests are involved in some of this year’s key presentations, as listed below:

The Color of Water: James McBride and Storytelling Through Music

Sunday, January 17 at 2:30 PM
Stamps Auditorium (Walgreen Drama Center)

An afternoon of music and storytelling with James McBride, saxophonist and author of the bestselling memoir The Color of Water as well as Song Yet Sung, Miracle at St. Anna, and The Good Lord Bird, for which he received the 2013 National Book Award for fiction. McBride’s latest book, Kill ‘Em and Leave: Searching for the Real James Brown, is forthcoming in 2016. In this presentation, McBride touches upon life’s rich lessons, exploring the nature of identity, race and heritage. Appearing with his jazz ensemble, he uses music to inspire audiences and lift his colorful, often humorous stories to another level. McBride will be interviewed by SMTD Dean Aaron Dworkin and SMTD students will also perform.

Men’s Glee Club under the direction of Dr. Eugene Rogers

Seven Last Words of the Unarmed and “Glory”
Monday, January 18, 2016 at 10:00 AM
Hill Auditorium

Following an acclaimed world premiere performance in November 2015, the University of Michigan Men’s Glee Club will present an encore performance of Joel Thompson’s Seven Last Words of the Unarmed, a work that sets to music the final words of seven unarmed black men who were killed in recent years. The work is paired with a new arrangement, by Dr. Eugene Rogers, of the inspirational Academy Award-winning song “Glory,” from the film Selma. This performance will precede the MLK Symposium Keynote Lecture by Naomi Tutu.

Commemorating African American carillon composers and music

Monday, January 18, 12:00-12:30 PM
Charles Baird Carillon on the 10th floor of Burton Memorial Tower

A concert featuring the world premiere of “Distant Light” by Wilbert Roget II, other works by African American composers, and music relating to the Civil Rights Movement, all performed on the 54-bell carillon of Burton Memorial Tower. Roget’s award-winning game soundtracks include Star Wars: The Old Republic and Lara Croft and the Temple of Osiris. Visitors may listen outside on Ingalls Mall, or climb the tower to visit the bells.

For a complete list of MLK Symposium events, visit the Office of Academic Multicultural Initiatives.