My friend Ken West, a fellow member of the Tree of Live Unitarian Universalist Congregation in McHenry, has been helping young people find their creative voices and celebrating the life and work of the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. for a long time. In fact this year will be the 14th Anniversary Music4Martin program, slated for 3:30 today, Sunday March 6 at Grace Lutheran Church, 1300 Kishwaukee Valley Road in Woodstock.
And I have been proud to promote the wonderful event here on this blog every year since it started burning up electrons. Over the years I have seen many young people from our congregation share their amazing talents. But they aren’t alone. They are joined by children and youth from across McHenry County and talented adult performers as well.
|Running through You Won't bring Us Down by Taras the Artist with Dan Noyes-Mills, Nick Bianchi, Taras Ivasyuk, Jonathan Wolwtoth, Becky Sargeant, Rgea Gabus, Savannah Hodges, Same Jones, and Grace Eliana Kane.|
This year the largest cast ever assembled, 35 singers, musicians, dancers, and spoken word artists celebrates the spectrum of ages who marched and sacrificed with Dr. King in the Civil Rights Movement. “I don’t believe in the generation gap,” West said. “We’re trying to mirror the Civil Rights movement.”
Performers this year will include students from a Free Guitars for Future Stars program, for children and youth from 10 to 17 from low-income McHenry County families who are are given free lessons and guitars. Donations to the program will be accepted during the concert.
Also on the bill are the Woodstock Community Choir, the Woodstock Ballet Studio Dancers and singer/songwriter Taras Ivasyuk, with an original piece. Other performers run the gamut of music from pop to rock to classical. Between the musical acts will be reading from Dr. King’s own words.
|This trio provides the "Oooooos...|
It promises to be an inspiring afternoon not only showcasing Dr. King and his active and meaningful heritage, but the promise of new generations taking up the challenges with creativity and imagination.
It the perfect tonic for those whose stomachs have been turned by the rise of overt racism and authoritarianism represented by Donald Trump and his chanting minions.