by Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — In the Girard College Chapel, the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was amplified by the sounds of the Philadelphia Orchestra during its annual free concert.
As the Orchestra warmed up, Music Director Yannick Nezet-Seguin reflected on the tribute concert.
“I feel really part of this compelling vision of Dr. King, of bringing people together,” he said.
The concert featured a narrative from Charlotte Blake Alston, repeating excerpts from Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech over Philadelphia composer Samuel Barber’s “Adiagio for Strings.”
“I have a dream that one day, this nation will rise up, and live out the true meaning of its creed, ‘we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal,'” Alston read.
The Choir of the Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts also performed. 17-year-old Majesty enjoyed her day of service.
“I feel like our performance is a way of Martin Luther King giving through us, because of all the service he put out to the people. I feel like we’re a part of it,” she said.
Another senior, 18-year-old Arianna, believes that music can inspire.
“The setting itself is ethereal, it’s gorgeous. It’s almost a religious experience,” she said.
For the maestro, he finds “unity through the universal language of music.”
“It’s a celebration, but it’s a chance also to reflect on how we can feel that we are part of the same community,” said Nezet-Seguin.