A Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
And HIs Journey Through 1963
by Aaron Noe
Civil Rights was written for the Mid-Atlantic Wind Symphony for a concert in 2013. The piece focuses on the 50th Anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s monumental rise to become a major national figure in 1963. Over the span of that year, many major and significant events occurred. It was in the early part of the year that Dr. King was arrested and jailed in Birmingham, Alabama. While being held, he penned the famous Letter from a Birmingham Jail. In many ways this letter helped to solidify the Civil Rights Movement and focus the cause through a unified vision. This event is commemorated in the first movement with a beautifull setting of Swing Low, Sweet Chariot.
The culmination of 1963 was the march on Washington which happened later that year. At that event, on August 28, 1963, Dr. King delivered his famous inspiring speech where he spoke the now famous words, “I have a Dream!” These words have become the anthem of the civil rights movement. The march on Washington is commemorated in the third movement a march to the tune of Lift Every Voice and Sing! You will also recognize the melody from the nineteenth century tune which became the melody for famous Civil Rights anthem We Shall Overcome.
It is the hope of Aaron Noe that this composition will inspire the next generation to carry on the legacy of Dr. King. The third movement’s title is Oh, Freedom and is based on the classic spiritual by the same title. Although many strides have been made in our culture, there are many hurdles we must still overcome. The message of this movement is not one of having triumphed over racial inequality; but, rather a recognition of how far we have traveled down this path and how much further we have to go to fully envision Dr. King’s Dream!
Each movement can stand alone in any performance or you may choose to program all three movements to tell the story of Dr. King's journey through 1963.
LEVEL IV - Medium Advanced
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