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KSO and the arts combine for free performance to celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

January 15, 2020

The Knoxville Symphony Orchestra, in collaboration with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission and The Carpetbag Theatre Inc., will present “A Night with the Arts: A Concert in Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” on Sunday, Jan. 19, at 6 p.m. at the Tennessee Theatre.

This concert, free and open to the public, is sponsored by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Commission in Knoxville. No tickets are required to attend this free performance.

The concert’s theme is “Let Freedom Ring: Through Social Justice, Economic Empowerment, Love, Peace & Unity.” KSO Resident Conductor James Fellenbaum will conduct the Knoxville Symphony Chamber Orchestra (KSCO) joined by the Celebration Choir directed by Aaron Staple. The KSCO will perform Saint-Georges/Bologne’s Symphony No. 2, Op. 11 and William Still’s “Serenade” and accompany soloists Carolyn Wilkerson, Preston Johnson and Doris Talley.

The performance will include drama and spoken word throughout the concert by members of The Carpetbag Theatre’s Homegrown Ambassadors Youth Program, directed by Jonathan Clark. The Celebration Choir will perform gospel songs, including “Great is Thy Faithfulness,” “Praise” and “We Shall Overcome.”

About the MLK Commemorative Commission

Since 1982, the MLK Commission has been organizing a special celebration each year for the Knoxville area to commemorate the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The week-long celebration focuses on providing education and leadership training for adults and youth and promotes reconciliation through peaceful conflict resolution. Part of the celebration also includes stories of racial struggles with emphasis on non-violence, equality and love.

About the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra

Led by Music Director Aram Demirjian, the Knoxville Symphony Orchestra consists of 80 professional musicians and performs 300 programs throughout the region each season, reaching audiences of more than 200,000 people. The KSO performs in traditional venues such as the Tennessee Theatre, Bijou Theatre, and Civic Auditorium, as well as non-traditional places like hospitals, schools, city parks, and churches. For more information regarding the KSO, please visit or call 865-291-3310.

About The Carpetbag Theatre

The Carpetbag Theatre, Inc. was founded in 1969 and chartered in 1971. We are a Knoxville-based professional, multi-generational ensemble company dedicated to the production of new works. We work in partnership with community artists, activists, cultural workers, storytellers, and leaders to create original, theatrical works. Our mission is to give artistic voice to the issues and dreams of people who have been silenced by racism, classism, sexism, ageism, homophobia and other forms of oppression.