Congressman John Lewis to Receive Choral Arts Humanitarian Award

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Congressman John Lewis, a legend of the civil rights movement, will receive the Choral Arts SocietyÂ?s of Washington D.C. Second Annual Humanitarian Award recognizing his lifelong commitment to the fight for justice and equal rights

Congressman John Lewis, a legend of the civil rights movement, will receive the Choral Arts Society’s Second Annual Humanitarian Award recognizing his lifelong commitment to the fight for justice and equal rights. Congressman Lewis will be presented with the award by last year’s recipient Dr. Dorothy Height, former President of the National Council of Negro Women and 2004 Congressional Gold Medal recipient.

The Choral Arts Society of Washington, under the direction of Norman Scribner, hosts the Seventeenth Annual Choral Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on Sunday, January 9 at 7:30 pm in the Concert Hall of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. The sign-interpreted Tribute, a spectacular multi-cultural concert hosted by Leon Harris, ABC 7/WJLA-TV News Anchor, will feature choruses from around the region in a celebration of rich artistic diversity that gives eloquent expression to Dr. King’s message that we are all brothers and sisters.

The Martin Luther King Choral Tribute Choir of 2005 will feature: The Choral Arts Society of Washington, Maryland Boys Choir, Alfred Street Baptist Church Senior Choir, Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel Choir, DuPont Park Seventh Day Adventist Church Cancel Choir, Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church Cathedral Choir, Performing Artists Under the Lord Chorus, Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ Senior Choir, and the Shiloh Baptist Church Senior Choir.

Congressman Lewis, described as "One of the most courageous persons the Civil Rights Movement ever produced," has dedicated his life to protecting human rights, securing personal dignity and building what he calls "The Beloved Community." He has displayed a sense of ethics and morality that has won him the admiration of many of his colleagues in the United States Congress. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Lewis was one of the planners and keynote speakers at the historic “March on Washington” and became a recognized leader of the “Big Six”. (The other Big Six leaders were Whitney Young, A. Phillip Randolph, Martin Luther King Jr., James Farmer, and Roy Wilkins.) Elected to Congress in November 1986, Lewis represents Georgia’s Fifth Congressional District and is currently serving his ninth term in office. Congressman Lewis, with writer Michael D’Orso, authored Walking With The Wind: A Memoir of the Movement (June, 1998). The book is a first-hand account of this nation’s civil rights movement.

Each year the Choral Arts Society provides more than 250 complimentary tickets to over 25 social service agencies and schools as part of its mission to share choral music and to serve the community. The Choral Arts Society first organized memorial concerts in memory of Dr. King in 1970, the year following his assassination. Through the power of music, the Tributes have continued over the years to bring together thousands of talented performers from the DC area in shared purpose. Artistic Director Norman Scribner states, “Nothing that we do has more meaning to all concerned than our Choral Tributes to Dr. King. These concerts give a living demonstration through the universal language of music of Dr. King’s eternal message of the brotherhood and sisterhood of all peoples everywhere.”

Sixteenth Annual Choral Arts Society of Washington

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute

Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 7:30 p.m., Sunday, January 9, 2005

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