Concert to bring history to life

San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra to perform a tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on January 18

Photo SBSO: American Idol finalist Jacob Lusk will headline the San Bernardino Symphony’s January 18th concert at the California Theatre.
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In honor of the birth date of Dr. Martin Luther King and the region’s unique contributions to the American civil rights movement, the San Bernardino Symphony Orchestra has prepared a tribute concert to be performed January 18, 2020 at the California Theatre of the Performing Arts.

“This concert is going to move our audience and reach out and touch their soul. The music is brilliant and powerful” said Symphony Board President Dean McVay, adding “That’s what this live symphonic experience is all about – transporting our audience to new and different places and experiences, and having them walk out of the concert hall having been moved and inspired in ways they had not considered before.”

Inclusive of powerhouse vocalists Jacob Lusk, Lettrice Lawrence, Bradley Baker, and the Selah Gospel Choir, an accompanied by narrative from local education leader Dr. Margaret Hill, the concert will include electrifying renditions of anthems, hymns, and spirituals including Wade in the Water, Strange Fruit, Free at Last, City Called Heaven, and Lift Every Voice and Sing.

“Our MLK tribute will be one of the most inspiring concerts this orchestra has even mounted,” said Symphony Music Director and Conductor Anthony Parnther. “We have imported nationally regarded talent to our region to pull off a very ambitious program and these are the kinds of soulful performers who will bring the house down.”

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In addition, the Symphony will be performing the West Coast premiere of three-time Emmy award-winning composer John Wineglass’s “Unburied, Unmourned, Unmarked.”

Making its premier in February of 2019 in Pittsburg, this classical symphonic work takes history off the shelves and onto the concert hall as a modern and African-American inspired take on a classic requiem in the spirit of Verdi, Mozart, Faure, and Britten. It mourns the souls of the enslaved Africans who died on Lowcountry rice plantations in the U.S., their bodies unburied, their suffering unmourned, and their sacrifices unmarked for future generations.

Added Parnther, “At a time when our country is feeling rather divided, the San Bernardino Symphony is working to unite and uplift or community through impactful storytelling, revisiting history, and embracing hope for the future.”

Four Concerts Will Follow

The January 18th concert is the third of six major performances scheduled for the Symphony’s upcoming season. February 22, the Symphony will perform Cirque de la Symphonie bringing awe-inspiring acrobatics choreographed to Classical music to the stage alongside orchestral musicians. A March 15 matinee will highlight works by Tchaikovsky, Mozart, and Grieg, including a solo performance of Mozart’s Bassoon Concerto by Maestro Parnther. The season will close May 2 with From Stage to Screen, a tribute to the golden age of Hollywood with movie scores from Bernard Hermann and a tribute to Judy Garland by Emmy-nominated vocalist Angela Ingersoll. All of this season’s concerts will all be held at the historic California Theatre of the Performing Arts, 562 W. 4th Street, San Bernardino. Concert tickets – including money saving “Second Chance Season” tickets and a “Select Three” options – are currently on sale and may be purchased at or by calling (909) 381-5388. Students and active military tickets are just $15. General admission tickets are $30, $45, $55, and $65.

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