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Cleveland Orchestra to perform 36th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Concert on January 16

Robert Porco to conduct program at Severance Hall featuring the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Chorus assembled and directed by William Henry Caldwell

Tickets for the FREE concert are available on January 4, 2016 at 9:00 a.m. at Severance Hall Ticket Office

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2016 Community Service Awards to be presented at concert

FREE Community Open House at Severance Hall on Monday, January 18 from 12 noon – 5 p.m.

League of American Orchestras’ Feeding America Food Drive to take place in January

LIVE Broadcast of concert on WCLV 104.9 and WCPN 90.3 ideastream®

CLEVELAND, December 17, 2015The Cleveland Orchestra’s 36th annual concert in celebration of the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. takes place at Severance Hall on Saturday, January 16, at 7:00 p.m., under the direction of Robert Porco. The program features music by Samuel Coleridge-Taylor, Duke Ellington, Camille Saint-Saëns, William Grant Still, and John Williams, as well as traditional spirituals and gospel songs.  Violinist Hannah White, first place winner in the Junior Division of the 2015 Sphinx Competition for Black and Latino string players, will perform as soloist, and the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Chorus, assembled, prepared, and directed by William Henry Caldwell, will also participate.  The Chorusis an all community volunteer chorus that brings together a wide range of choristers from local churches as well as members of the Cleveland Orchestra Chorus.  Beginning at 7:00 p.m., the Martin Luther King Jr. concert will be broadcast live on WCLV 104.9 and on WCPN 90.3 ideastream®. 

The Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 2016 Community Service Awards will be presented at the concert.  The awards are presented by The Cleveland Orchestra and the Greater Cleveland Partnership, in cooperation with the City of Cleveland, to individuals who are positively impacting Cleveland in the spirit of the teachings and example of Dr. King.  

A FREE Community Open House takes place on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Monday, January 18, 2016 from 12 noon – 5:00 p.m. at Severance Hall.  Performances and family activities will take place throughout the day. Performances by the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus, El Sistema@Rainey, Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble, the Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word, and the Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra will take place in the Concert Hall.  Family activities include the “I Have a Dream” Wall in Smith Lobby, and DJ Terry Macklin will be in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer with music and line dancing. 


Admission to the concert is free, but tickets are required.  Tickets will be available on a first-come, first-served basis beginning Monday, January 4, 2016 at 9:00 a.m., through the Severance Hall Ticket Office in person, by phone at 216-231-1111 or 800-686-1141, or online at  Due to the high demand for tickets to this concert, traditionally all tickets for this concert are distributed by noon on the day they are made available to the public.  There is a limit of 4 tickets per household. 


In January, The Cleveland Orchestra will participate in the National Food Drive “Orchestras Feeding America.”  Since Orchestras Feeding America began in 2007, over 250 orchestras across the country have collected more than 450,000 pounds of food.  Patrons are encouraged to bring non-perishable food items to Severance Hall to concerts on January 14, 15, 16, and 18, 2016.  Food bins will be positioned throughout Severance Hall for donations.  The recipient of the food drive this year is the WSEM Food Center at Community Corner for Families and Children, which is part of the Hunger Network of Cleveland and organized through The Centers for Families and Children.  The center acts as an “emergency” food pantry serving the Gordon Square neighborhood, site of The Cleveland Orchestra’s first neighborhood residency in 2012-13.  The center serves over 800 families and over 2,000 individuals on a monthly basis as well as providing hot meals for the public at Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

This concert is sponsored by KeyBank, a Cleveland Orchestra Partner in Excellence. 


Severance Hall, Cleveland, OH

Saturday, January 16, 2016, at 7:00 p.m.
The Cleveland Orchestra
Robert Porco, conductor
Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Chorus
William Henry Caldwell, director

JOHN STAFFORD SMITH - The Star-Spangled Banner
JOHN ROSAMOND JOHNSON - Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing
SAMUEL COLERIDGE-TAYLOR - “Danse Nègre” from African Suite
TRADITIONAL (arr. Wilberg) - Deep River
CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS - Introduction and Rondo capriccioso for Violin and Orchestra
            HANNAH WHITE, violin
JOHN WILLIAMS - “Dry Your Tears, Africa” from Amistad
SAMUEL WARD (arr. Dragon) - America the Beautiful
WILLIAM GRANT STILL - Third Movement from Symphony No. 1 (“Afro-American”)
EDWARD K. (DUKE) ELLINGTON - Martin Luther King from Three Black Kings
TRAD. (arr. R.H. Gillum)  - There’s No Hiding Place Down Here
TRAD. (arr. Smith) - Every Time I Feel the Spirit
TRAD. (arr. Burleigh) - Jesus is a Rock in a Weary Land
TRAD. (arr. Uzee Brown Jr.) - We Shall Overcome

Monday, January 18, 2016 from 12 noon – 5:00 p.m.
Severance Hall

12:30 p.m.       Cleveland Orchestra Youth Chorus
                                    Lisa Wong, director
1:15 p.m.         El Sistema@Rainey
2:00 p.m.         Duffy Liturgical Dance Ensemble
2:45 p.m.         EKAM: We are One
3:30 p.m.         The Distinguished Gentlemen of Spoken Word
4:15 p.m.         Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra
                                    Brett Mitchell, conductor

All performances take place in the Concert Hall. 

Ongoing family-friendly activities include:  the “I Have a Dream” Wall and the Cuyahoga County Public Library Martin Luther King Jr. Book Display in the Smith Lobby.  Terry Macklin Sounds of Entertainment DJ and Line Dancing takes place in the Bogomolny-Kozerefski Grand Foyer between performances.                                                                        

Presented by the City of Cleveland, Mayor Frank Jackson, and the Musical Arts Association.
Sponsored by KeyBank, a Cleveland Orchestra Partner in Excellence 

The Cleveland Orchestra is grateful for ongoing annual support from the State of Ohio and Ohio Arts Council, and to the residents of Cuyahoga County through Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.