More than 150 students participated in the 2014 Black History Month Celebration at the Rachel M. Schlesinger Concert Hall and Arts Center on February 25. Written and directed by Dr. Mark Whitmire, the event paid special tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Nelson Mandela.
Alexandria Dean of Liberal Arts, Dr. Jimmie McClellan, gave the welcome and introduction. His remarks reminded many of significant points in history. He said, “Tonight we celebrate a spirit of freedom and equality that could not be crushed. Tonight we sit in concert at a college where people
of all races, colors and nationalities teach and learn
side by side in peace.”
The event involved actors from Dr. Kate Al-Shamma’s acting class, the Metropolitan Youth Tap Ensemble, the NOVA Community Chorus, the NOVA Jazz Ensemble and the Faculty Jazz Band. In addition, Dr. Joe Windham and John Kocur presented “Let America Be America Again” by Langston Hughes, with Windham’s dramatic reading accompanied by Kocur’s sax improvisations.
Guest artists Lisa Edwards Burrs (soprano) and Steven Ralph (bass) sang African-American spirituals accompanied by pianist Christine Hagan.
It was an exceptional event for all who were in attendance. Dr. McClellan’s full opening remarks are available online.