Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra presents The Dream Lives On: A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra will present a free community tribute concert on Saturday, January 14, 2012 at 3:00 pm at the Holy Redeemer Institutional Church of God in Christ, in Milwaukee. Music Director Richard Hynson will conduct, and church founder Bishop Sedgwick Daniels will narrate the performance.

The Dream Lives On will feature works for string orchestra including Dmitri Shostakovich’s heart-wrenching Chamber Symphony, as well as selections from Robert Ray’s Gospel Mass performed by singers from the Bel Canto Chorus of Milwaukee. The tribute seeks to underscore the solemnity of the occasion and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s non-violent transcendence of the brutal divisiveness of his times.

Reflecting on the significance of this event, Hynson said, “Dr. King’s message of justice, freedom, and equality speaks to us today as vividly as it did years ago. His clarion call for unity and mutual acceptance urges us to reach across the boundaries of fear and mistrust to join together in building an America free from prejudice. What better way to symbolize that joining together than for us to come to this house of prayer to honor Dr. King and his legacy through music and words?”

Concertgoers are encouraged to reserve free seats in advance by visiting www.milwaukeechamberorchestra.org and clicking on “Reserve Your Tickets Now.” Seating will also be available on the day of the event. Doors will open at 2:15 pm.

The Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra is Milwaukee’s only professional chamber orchestra and one of only 65 in the nation. Since its founding in 1973, the MCO has earned a reputation as one of southeastern Wisconsin’s finest professional performing arts groups. Critical review, audience response and other feedback reveal that the MCO performs with the highest of artistic integrity and fills a unique niche in satisfying a desire for audiences to hear, and for professional artists to perform, chamber orchestra music within the greater Milwaukee metropolitan area.

Bel Canto Chorus is Milwaukee’s premier independent choral organization. Founded in 1931, Bel Canto is committed to enriching the lives of its audiences and singing members through the outstanding live presentation of the finest choral music. The chorus performs four unique concerts each season in Greater Milwaukee’s most beautiful venues.

Richard Hynson has served as music director of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra since 2006. Additionally, he has served as music director for Bel Canto Chorus since 1987. In demand as a guest conductor, Hynson’s past engagements include performances with the Milwaukee Symphony, the Skylight Opera Theatre, and the Racine, Sheboygan, and Waukesha Symphony Orchestras. Hynson has conducted at Carnegie Hall in New York City, where he led a large national festival chorus and orchestra in Ralph Vaughan Williams’s Dona nobis pacem. In the summer of 2008, Hynson conducted the string orchestra and chorus for the Prelude Music Academy summer camp in Madison. In 2009, he guest-conducted the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra in one of the Concerts on the Square in Madison. He also served as the Music Director for Gathering on the Green, the popular outdoor music festival in Mequon, WI, in 2009 and 2010. In addition to his work as a conductor and educator, Hynson is a composer. He has written a substantial body of published choral, vocal, and ensemble works. Music critic Elaine Schmidt praised Hynson’s most recent performance with the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra, in their collaborative production of Astor Piazzolla’s Maria de Buenos Aires: “Hynson and the ensemble supported the singers gracefully and created a get-under-your-skin sonic backdrop that did more to set the story in Buenos Aires than detailed scenery could have managed” (Schmidt, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, November 11, 2011).