Preview: Music Institute of Chicago to Honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Stephanie-Shonekan will speak on Race and Identity in American Music Culture this Saturday. Photo by Nicholas Brenner. The Music Institute of Chicago will be streaming free events this weekend to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. On the following Sunday the MIC will be hosting a virtual open house to allow members of the public to learn about the educational and other programs it offers to children and adults. These events are part of the MIC’s 90th anniversary celebration. This weekend’s MLK festivities open on Saturday with a lecture entitled Race and Identity in American Music Culture by Stephanie Shonekan from the University of Missouri. Shonekan will then participate in a panel discussion with composers Carlos Simon and Daniel Bernard Roumain; Alyce Claerbaut, president, Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc., follows. Saturday, January 16, 3pm. On Sunday, the MLK celebration will continue with prerecorded performances by several MIC alumnae, faculty, and invited guests. Performers include students from the Chicago Musical Pathways Initiative, which caters to student musicians from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds. Two works by African American composer William Grant Still are on the program. Oboist Zachary Allen will perform Still’s Incantation, and piano duo Sung Hoon Mo and Inah Chiu will offer an adaptation of Still’s Symphony No. 1 in A-flat, Afro-American. Other performers include Jazz saxophonist and clarinetist and Victor Goines and Friends, who will play Goines’ own work, MLK Suite. Violinist and MIC Alum Rachel Barton Pine will perform Coleridge-Taylor Perkinson’s Louisiana Blues and Roumain's Hip-Hop Prayer No. 3. The program will end with a performance by the Brotherhood Chorale of the Apostolic Church of God, directed by Brother Brian Rice. Sunday, January 17, 3pm. Brotherhood Chorale of the Apostolic Church of God in performance at Nichols Auditorium. Photo by Erin Fosco. On the following Sunday, MIC will have a virtual open house to allow the public to learn about the educational programs it is offering to children and adults. As with every other cultural institution, it has had to adapt to the world of pandemic. It has continued its music educational programs, including private lessons and classes in virtual settings. The public will have an opportunity to meet faculty and staff to learn about these programs. Sunday, January 24, 2-3pm. Links to this Saturday’s free lecture and this Sunday’s free concert can be found at The virtual open house requires an RSVP. It can be provided at
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Louis Harris

A lover of music his whole life, Louis Harris has written extensively from the early days of punk and alternative rock. More recently he has focused on classical music, especially chamber ensembles. He has reviewed concerts, festivals, and recordings and has interviewed composers and performers. He has paid special attention to Chicago’s rich and robust contemporary art music scene. He occasionally writes poetry and has a published novel to his credit, 32 Variations on a Theme by Basil II in the Key of Washington, DC. He now lives on the north side of Chicago, which he considers to be the greatest city in the country, if not the world. Member of the Music Critics Association of North America.