MLK Day to be celebrated in Middlebury with music and dance

MIDDLEBURY — This Martin Luther King Day, Jan. 19, at 8 p.m. when lights go up in Mead Chapel at Middlebury College, the audience will see and hear something new in the college’s traditional celebration of Dr. King’s legacy: a gospel choir of Middlebury College students. 
Led by Appalachian State University Gospel Choir Director Keith McCutchen, students will present a short program of traditional gospel and spiritual tunes in original arrangements by McCutchen.
“MLK Oratorio: A Celebration in Song, Speech and Dance” will also feature the words of Dr. King presented by students in the Oratory Society. Excerpts will include text from King’s fiery Selma speech, delivered at the end of the Selma-Montgomery march.
Not all the speeches will be Dr. King’s alone. “MLK Today: The Reverend Speaks, Middlebury Responds,” will combine statements by King that seem especially relevant to recent events with individual responses they trigger in our community today.
The choir and speakers will be performing in collaboration with an ensemble of dancers under the direction of choreographer Christal Brown, chair of the Middlebury Dance Program and founding artistic director of INSPIRIT, a dance company based in New York City.
Guest singer and local favorite Beth Chapman will be a featured performer in the choir.
“MLK Oratorio” is directed by Dana Yeaton, with musical direction by Jeff Buettner. Sponsors include the Middlebury Department of Music, the Oratory Society, the Office of the Dean of the College, Mahaney Center for the Arts, and the Middlebury College Director of the Arts.
The event is free.

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