Local musicians to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

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Rabbi Allen Secher makes opening remarks at the “Dear Mr. President: An MLK Day Event” last January at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center. (Brenda Ahearn/Daily Inter Lake)

Love Lives Here in the Flathead invites the community to join in its 11th annual Martin Luther King Jr. celebration of the human spirit at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 13 at the Whitefish Performing Arts Center.

This year’s celebration, entitled “Spirit,” features an unprecedented program of 18 local groups and musicians showcasing original compositions, including Erica von Kleist’s choral piece, “A Silent March.”

Artists include Rob Quist, Mike Eldred, Jack Gladstone, Halladay Quist, David Walburn, Nick Spear, Brent Jameson, Jeremy Reinbolt and others. Each songwriter has been asked to consider some aspect of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s life and to compose a song to be performed that evening.

For example, Halladay will focus on King’s “stride towards freedom” in the Montgomery Bus Strike, while Quist will pen an original composition based on King’s infamous “I Have a Dream” speech.

The show is being created and organized by Erica von Kleist, music director, Bruce Guthrie, content director and historical consultant, and Allen Secher, creative consultant, technical liaison and emcee.

The evening’s performance will be recorded live by Montana Public Radio and broadcast for listeners throughout the state on the official MLK holiday, two days later.

“Our performances get bigger and better every year, but this year’s lineup is one of the most ambitious that we’ve undertaken,” said Secher, “We’ve been hosting a Martin Luther King [Jr.] event for over 10 years, and we’ve never had this kind of lineup of professional musicians performing original compositions.”

There is no charge for this community event, however donations will be accepted at the door. Love Lives Here in the Flathead Valley is a nonprofit organization committed to co-creating a caring, open, accepting and diverse community, free from discrimination and dedicated to equal treatment for all citizens.

More information can be found at www.loveliveshereflathead.org. Love Lives Here in the Flathead Valley is an affiliate of the Montana Human Rights Network.

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