Let freedom ring

The university’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day commemorative event series wraps up Sunday, Jan. 21, with a performing arts show titled, “Freedom Rings: An artistic celebration of the life of Martin Luther King Jr.”

Formerly known as the Gospel Fest, the show has been reimagined in honor of the 50th anniversary of King’s death. Arts groups from around the Midlands will perform a series of pieces highlighting King’s life and continuing legacy.

“With the new program, we hope to bring Dr. King to life in a different way, especially for the younger generation who may just be beginning to learn about the civil rights movement of the 1960s,” says John Dozier, the university’s chief diversity officer.

This year’s event includes performances from the Columbia Children's Community Choir, Resonance Quartet, Columbia City Ballet, Jim "Soni" Sonefeld, the Terence Young Jazz Band, the Carolina Collegiate Super Choir featuring the University of South Carolina, Claflin University, South Carolina State University, Allen University, Benedict College and Columbia College, plus additional celebrations of music and dance.

“We want ‘Freedom Rings’ to be reflective of how creative the Midlands community truly is, and I think the variety of acts will be a great testament to that creativity,” Dozier says. “It will be a night to remember.”

If you're going

Doors for the show open at 5 p.m. and the show begins at 6 p.m. Tickets for Freedom Rings are $10 for students, faculty, staff and the public and are available in-person or by phone at the Koger Center’s box office, as well as at the Koger Center website. Free parking will be available in four university parking lots: FS11 at Lincoln and College streets; FS4 on Gadsden Street between Greene  and Devine streets; and AD3 and GS4 on Gadsden between Devine and Blossom streets.

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