Boston Children’s Chorus announces 21st annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert

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East Boston kids sing
Courtesy: BCC

[Editor’s note: Read past coverage about the BCC and East Boston here.]

“In The Name Of Love” Concert at Symphony Hall to Highlight LGBTQIA+ and Civil Rights Icons Including Bayard Rustin and Coretta Scott King

Boston, MA (January 8, 2024) – Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) is thrilled to announce the organization’s annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute Concert, “In The Name Of Love,” which will take place at Boston’s Symphony Hall at 4:00 p.m. ET on Monday, January 15, 2024. The concert will highlight movements for equality across marginalized communities throughout American history, centering powerful stories from the LGBTQIA+ community and more.

The program will raise the voices of civil rights and LGBTQIA+ activists, including Bayard Rustin and Coretta Scott King, and align with BCC’s season theme, “True Colors,” inspired by the 20th anniversary of the legalization of same-sex marriage in Massachusetts. Throughout the year, BCC singers are exploring what it means to be their true selves and to be compassionate to one another while embracing and affirming all identities.

“This MLK Day, the voices of children from all across the Greater Boston region will celebrate the timeless ideals of love, unity, and equity that both Bayard Rustin and Coretta Scott King championed,” said BCC Executive Director Andrés Holder. “We seek to inspire our community by allowing the voices of children to resonate with the melody of justice, shining a bright light toward the path to a more inclusive city for the young people we serve and those around them. As Mr. Rustin once said, ‘We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers.’ As long as the fight for love and equality is ongoing, we at BCC will continue to uplift the voices of these angelic troublemakers who challenge the status quo and push for a more inclusive future.”

This year’s concert will include two choirs from BCC’s in-school programming. Students from Chelsea Public Schools and the Ellison Parks Early Education School will take the Symphony Hall stage alongside BCC’s after-school choirs to sing a mix of timeless ballads with high-energy anthems from Stevie Wonder, Mahalia Jackson, U2, Phil Collins and many more.

This year’s program will also feature guest artists Renese King and Aric B. Flemming, Jr.

King, a vocalist, pianist, songwriter, arranger, and director of the New England Gospel Ensemble, is an acclaimed jazz and gospel singer whose recent projects include solo vocal contributions to soundtracks of three award-winning PBS documentaries. An alumnus of Berklee College of Music, she also works at the college as executive assistant to the vice president.

Flemming, also known as Aric B., is a singer/songwriter, vocal arranger, and producer. He is an R&B and Gospel recording artist who has offered studio background vocals and supporting vocals live, most notably for artists such as Geoffrey Golden, Kirk Franklin, Canton Jones, and Jessica Reedy. A graduate of Morehouse College and Harvard University, Flemming has recorded, written, trained, and collaborated with Grammy-winning producers throughout his musical journey.

More information about the event and tickets can be found here.

“In the Name of Love” is made possible in part by our generous sponsors, TD Bank, Eastern Bank, Rockland Trust, the Waldwin Group, and Dunkin’. BCC concerts are also made possible by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, with additional support from the National Endowment for the Arts.  

About Boston Children’s Chorus

Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) was founded in 2003 by Hubie Jones, a civic leader who has worked for six decades to address the social problems facing Boston’s underserved children and communities. Named Boston’s “Ambassadors of Harmony” by The Boston Globe, BCC harnesses the power of music to connect Boston’s diverse communities, cultivate empathy, and inspire social inquiry. BCC after-school choral programs include 10 choirs with singers from 110 different zip codes in and around Boston. BCC is also proud to partner with schools to provide in-school choral education in Mattapan, Roxbury, South Boston, East Boston, Allston and the city of Chelsea. BCC presents over 50 performances per season in a wide range of public and private events. They have performed in venues from Boston Symphony Hall, and Royal Albert Hall in London, to Sydney Opera House, and the White House.

BCC is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency, and in part by a grant from the Boston Cultural Council, a local agency which is funded by the Massachusetts Cultural Council, administered by the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture.

About the Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert

The Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Tribute Concert is a celebratory evening of story and song that reflects on the life and enduring legacy of Rev. Dr. King. Each year, over 300 children from BCC’s after-school and in-school choirs present a rousing program that spans the musical genres of gospel, pop, musical theatre, traditional spirituals, and rock, exploring the Civil Rights Movement of the fifties and sixties and its connections with contemporary movements both in the states and abroad. BCC’s annual MLK Jr. Tribute Concert is a treasured Boston musical tradition presented to sold-out audiences at Boston’s Symphony Hall and broadcast internationally online. Previous guest artists have included vocalists such as Melinda Doolittle, Nik Walker, and Leslie Odom Jr.

The 21st Anniversary concert, In the Name of Love, recognizes that throughout history, movements for equality across marginalized communities have mimicked each other, sharing the same essential goals. Boston Children’s Chorus takes the stage at Symphony Hall to raise the voices of civil rights activists, including Coretta Scott King and Bayard Rustin, who developed the blueprint for modern-day activists. The fight for love is ongoing. Love’s victory is a victory for us all. 

Concert Length: 90 minutes.