Friday, January 6, 2017

Tenth Annual Let Freedom Sing Concerts celebrate legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Pittsburgh Area

Full Choir to Perform at Let Freedom Sing Credit: Robert Bailey

Two concerts celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and showcase The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh, acclaimed spoken-word and visual artist Vanessa German, regional choruses comprising the MLK Festival Choir, and two dance troupes--Trevor C. Dance Collective and Reed Dance II.   

Unity and diversity are celebrated on the Martin Luther King holiday weekend when  the Tenth Annual LET FREEDOM SING! concerts present inspiring music and oratory while raising funds for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank. The two concerts aim to erase geographic, demographic, and economic lines as choirs from city and suburb converge in celebration of Dr. King’s legacy, Sat., Jan. 14  and Mon., Jan. 16, both at 7 pm. 

Vanessa Garman Credit: Robert Bailey
The concerts feature acclaimed visual and performance artist Vanessa German, The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh, and the MLK Festival Choir, comprised of high school, community and church choirs from both urban and suburban areas. In addition, Saturday's concert will feature the Trevor C. Dance Collective under the direction of Trevor Miles and Monday’s concert features Reed Dance II under artistic director Greer Reed.

Monetary donations of at least $1.00 are accepted to benefit the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.

Collaborating for the 10th year on the LET FREEDOM SING! concerts are co-artistic directors and founders, Rev. Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones, director of The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh, and Kris Rust, music minister at Allegheny UU Church. More than a dozen musical selections are woven with the stirring performance of award-winning visual and spoken word artist Vanessa German.

Rev. Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jone conducting Credit: Robert Bailey
For the 10th year, Let Freedom Sing brings city and suburb together, blending performers and audience members of varied ages, races and creeds to realize Dr. King’s dream on the weekend of the national holiday honoring the Civil Rights leader.

“Unity and love are ideas that Dr. King stressed in his work, and we lift up these ideas in our singing,” says co-founder and co-artistic director Kris Rust. “For 10 years now, this concert series has been empowering all of us to come together through music and find unity and love in the face of segregation, economic injustice, and racial tension.”

THE MLK FESTIVAL CHOIR is made up of singers from CAPA (The Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts), Franklin Regional High School, Greater Pittsburgh Unitarian Universalist Churches, The Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh, The Lemington Chorale, McKeesport Area High School, and Riverview High School.

 Reed Dance II Credit: Robert Bailey

On Sat., Jan. 14, 7 pm, LET FREEDOM SING! takes place at Ebenezer Baptist Church, 2001 Wylie Ave., Pittsburgh (15219). Monetary donations for Greater Pittsburgh Commuity Food Bank will be accepted at the concert.
On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, Mon., Jan. 16, 7 pm, LET FREEDOM SING! takes the stage of the Byham Theater, Sixth Ave., Pittsburgh (15222).

Tickets for the Byham concert are on sale in advance at ( or 412-456-6666. (In person sales available during regular hours at Theater Square Box Office and also at Byham on day of concert, 5-8 pm.)
For directions or questions, e-mail or call 412-441-7677.
Visit the Let Freedom Sing website at Also see Facebook or Twitter @FreedomSingPgh for more details.

THE HERITAGE GOSPEL CHORALE OF PITTSBURGH, under the direction of Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones, co-artistic director of Let Freedom Sing, is acclaimed for its inspirational performances of American Gospel music throughout Western Pennsylvania. Through its engagement of singers of all ages, races, and ethnicities, the chorale serves and cultivates diverse choir membership and audiences by infusing an appreciation of gospel music, including new works and arrangements. Founded in 2007 as The Pittsburgh Gospel Choir, the chorale was the first regional ensemble dedicated to the genre.

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