Date(s) - Sat, 01/16/21
I hope you’re faring well during this crazy, unprecedented year. I’m writing today to tell you about an upcoming online event co-sponsored by Coro Lux and the United Church of Santa Fe (where I’m Director of Choirs).
Despite the pandemic, we’re happy to announce our 3rd annual “JanFest” – a celebration of the life and work of Dr, Martin Luther King, Jr., and of the African American singing tradition in this country. The event, titled IN THE TIME OF COVID: Singing in a Strange Land will take place on Saturday, January 16, 2021. This year’s headliner will be Dr. Rollo Dilworth, Professor of Music at Temple University in Philadelphia. Rollo is one of the leading lights in choral music today. FYI I’m attaching a brief biography and photo of Dr. Dilworth.
Our keynote address will be given by Prof. James Abbington of Emory University’s Candler School of Theology. Besides being an academic, Dr. Abbington is a fine church musician, having been organist at the Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s church and having close contact with the family of Dr. King. His talk is titled “Spirituals and Gospel Songs: Singing in a Strange Time.” I’m also attaching a photo and bio of Dr. Abbington.
In addition, sessions will be given by:
* Dr. Stevie Springer (vocal warm ups, in the Gospel style) who currently leads the UNM Gospel Choir
* Dr. Joe Alcorn, retired professor of medicine at UNM (COVID-19 and when we can expect to sing in public again)
* and the Rev. Talitha Arnold (of the United Church of Santa Fe) and myself (Music and Mental Health during the Pandemic).
FYI I’m attaching a copy of the day’s schedule. The day-long event costs $37.50. For more information and to register, people can go to https://abqcorolux.org/tickets/. A portion of our proceeds will go to the NAACP’s college scholarship fund.
There is no limit to how many can register, and one need not be a singer to take part in the day’s events. The content will be available to those who register for two weeks after the event itself, so people need not devote the whole day if their schedule doesn’t allow it. They can go back and watch or rewatch the sessions for several days afterward. Since the event is online, we are expecting participation from around the country.
After a difficult year, including a summer of unrest, I’m sure you agree we need to find ways to come together in harmony as a nation. In our own small way, we’re doing what we can to bring people together, to exercise their lungs and release some endorphins, to learn more about a very important part of American culture and to further the work of Dr. King. We would be most grateful if you could help us get the word out.