TOLEDO—Toledo St. Martin de Porres, the Diocese of Toledo and The Toledo Symphony present the 22nd Annual Neighborhood Concert in honor of Black History Month Feb. 26 at 5 p.m. at St. Martin de Porres.
During the event, Wil Clay¸a local artist and illustrator, and Michael Youngblood, former director of the Office of Black Catholic Ministries of the Diocese of Toledo, will be honored posthumously with the Katharine Drexel Award.
Katharine Drexel, born and raised in Philadelphia, devoted her life and fortune to the Indian and African-American Missions. She was noted for her educational effort. During her lifetime, approximately 60 schools were opened by her congregation. The most famous foundation was made in 1915; it was Xavier University, New Orleans, the first such institution for black people in the United States. Those who receive the Katharine Drexel Award are recognized for their work as educators.
The concert features compositions that reflect the contributions of African Americans to the classical music repertoire. Jeffery Pollock, resident conductor of the orchestra, and Merwin Sui, artistic director, have chosen a program that highlights the theme, “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing.” One of the featured compositions is: “John Brown’s Body” by Puts, with Symphony member Robert Clemens as narrator.
The Toledo Central Catholic High School Gospel Choir, under the direction of Derrick Hammon, will be featured in the singing of “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing,” the African-American Anthem.
The Scherzo movement of the “Afro-American Symphony” by Still will begin the second half of the program.” Selections from Porgy and Bess,” “A Salute to Ray Charles” and “Oh Happy Day,” will round out the concert.
St. Martin de Porres is located at 1119 W. Bancroft St. For more information or to purchase tickets, call the parish office at 419-241-4544.