Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum Presents Chicago Children’s Choir “Freedom Tour”

Posted: Friday, 13 July 2007

Montgomery, AL – The Concert Choir of the Chicago Children’s Choir will perform at Troy University’s Rosa Parks Museum Auditorium on July 16 at 1 p.m.

The concert is part of the choir’s 10-day, six city “Freedom Tour” of the southern United States, honoring the organization’s founding 50 years ago at the very height of the Civil Rights Movement. The tour will include stops in three Alabama cities (Birmingham, Selma and Montgomery), Tennessee (Memphis), as well as coastal Mississippi (Waveland) and Louisiana (New Orleans). McCormick Tribune Foundation is partially underwriting the ‘Freedom Tour.’

The Choir’s annual tours are designed to be a cultural exchange. The “Freedom Tour” provides an opportunity for Chicago Children’s Choir singers to meet people who experienced the rich history and struggles of the Civil Rights Movement firsthand. In turn, the Choir will demonstrate to audiences the beauty of youth from different backgrounds working and singing together.

“I think it’s important to recognize, as a nation, how far we’ve come, but also how far we still need to go,” said Josephine Lee, artistic director of Chicago Children’s Choir. “Fifty years after the beginnings of the Civil Rights Movement, there is still a lot of hidden racism in our society. It’s important for our children to open the eyes of others to that, but it is also critical that our singers experience and are inspired by the history and impact of the Civil Rights Movement so that the dream of a peacefully integrated society can become a reality.”

Concert repertoire throughout the “Freedom Tour” will include music directly from or inspired by the Civil Rights Movement, as well as songs reflecting struggles for freedom and equality. Specific selections include “Birmingham Sunday” by Thomas Kerr, depicting the 1963 bombing of Birmingham’s16th Street Baptist Church, “Strange Fruit” by Abe Meeropol, a.k.a. Lewis Allan, written in reaction to Lawrence Beitler’s photograph of the lynching of Thomas Shipp and Abram Smith in 1930, as well as “Precious Lord” by Thomas Dorsey, a favorite hymn of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Celebrating its 50th Anniversary, the Chicago Children's Choir is a multiracial, multicultural choral music education organization that seeks to shape the future by making a difference in the lives of children and youth through musical excellence. The Choir currently serves nearly 3,000 children, ages 8-18 through choirs in 50 schools, after-school programs in seven Chicago neighborhoods and the internationally acclaimed Concert Choir.