April 4, 2018 is the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. King was shot on a hotel balcony in Memphis, Tennessee. The Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra of North Carolina State University will honor this anniversary in their upcoming program, “The Dream Is Alive: Celebrating Martin Luther King Jr.” All of the music included in the event was written by African-American composers.
Host Frank Stasio talks to conductor Peter Askim about why he created this lineup and what he hopes the audience takes away from the performance. Askim is the director of orchestral studies at North Carolina State University. Composer Jeff Scott joins the conversation as well. He composed “Sinfonietta of Dreams,” a piece commissioned for this event and inspired by King’s speech in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, in 1962.
Stasio also talks to Jason Miller, an English professor at North Carolina State University who has studied King’s Rocky Mount speech. Miller is also the author of “Origins of the Dream: Hughes’s Poetry and King’s Rhetoric” (University of Florida Press/2016). Miller will talk about the speech before and after the concert. The Raleigh Civic Chamber Orchestra will be performing “The Dream Is Alive: Celebrating Martin Luther King, Jr.” on Sunday, April 8 on the North Carolina State University campus.