Great music for a good cause in honor of MLK Jr.

| January 5, 2012 | 0 Comments

Robert Robinson will sing with the combined choirs of St. Joan of Arc and Mount Olivet Lutheran churches in Minneapolis.

Close to 200 voices from the combined choirs of St. Joan of Arc and Mount Olivet Lutheran churches in Minneapolis will join Twin Cities vocalist Robert Robinson at 7 p.m. Jan. 15 in a tribute to Martin Luther King Jr.

The MLK concert, which is part of St. Joan’s 2011-2012 Concert Series, has been a fixture since the series started about 14 years ago, said Dan Chouinard, co-producer of the concert and former associate music director at the parish.

“It’s going to be a big logistical challenge, but a big beautiful sound as well,” he said.

The concerts present an opportunity to bring in people from the larger community and to raise funds for the St. Joan Care Fund, which provides emergency financial help for parishioners and non-parishioners in the Minneapolis neighborhood, he said.

The MLK concert is always “an occasion for us to bring in one or more of our regular musical guests drawn from the African-American community,” Choui­nard said. “Robert Robinson is someone who has been collaborating with us at St. Joan’s for at least a dozen years, working a lot with our choir and as a soloist.”

Want to go?What: Annual MLK concert.
When: 7 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 15.
Where: St. Joan of Arc, 4537 Third Ave. S.
Tickets: $20 —; (612) 823-8205; send a check payable to: St. Joan of Arc Concert Series, 4537 Third Ave. S., Minneapolis, MN 55419.

“Been to the Mountaintop,” the title of this year’s concert, is taken from a line in Martin Luther King Jr.’s last public speech, before he was shot in 1968, Chouinard said.

“That text has been set to music, a piece of music that we’ll be doing in this concert,” he said. Robinson previously brought the two choirs together to present a concert and record a CD of the music. “We decided that would make a great concert in our series, as well.”

Chouinard will host the concert that will feature the choirs and Robinson with numbers that come from Robinson’s life story growing up in north Minneapolis, in his work conducting the Twin Cities Gospel Choir and his foray into the world of popular music.

In Robinson’s perspective, the collaboration for the concert is like heaven.

“Heaven is a place where there will be no more division or separation. We will all be one, worshipping and praising together. When I get to sing with St. Joan of Arc and Mount Olivet, I get to experience a little heaven on earth,” he said.

In working with Robinson, Chouinard said, “our eyes and ears have been opened to the world of music that he grew up with and the sorts of expression that world employs.”

Seating is limited and this concert usually sells out, according to the St. Joan website, so get your tickets early.

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Category: Arts and Culture