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Heritage Ensemble presents a Choral Celebration of the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Saturday, January 14, 2017

On Saturday, January 14, 2017, at 7:30 pm, at the Illinois Central College Performing Arts Center, the Heritage Ensemble invites you to join us in a Choral Celebration of the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. This musical journey is entitled, “The Dream Continues” and will feature the performance of selections designed to strengthen the resolve of our community, nation, and world toward peace and unity. After much research, Mrs. Sharon Reed, Artistic Director of the Ensemble, was able to retrieve the musically beautiful selection package entitled “Spiritual Suite”. Within this music, the audience will hear a medley of spiritual songs that are both familiar and encouraging, and yet gentle and powerful. Additionally, consistent with our theme, “The Dream Continues,” the Heritage Ensemble will combine with the Youth Heritage Ensemble in a series of contemporary selections that will include, “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” As you listen to the powerful spiritual, a music born out of the African-American experience, we are certain that your heart will be touched by the timelessness of the message!

This performance will mark the 17th year of the Ensemble. During this time, the Heritage Ensemble has earned the reputation as a renowned community musical organization whose depth and breadth of performance features the sustained influence of the Negro spiritual in the arts. As our country continues to strive to maintain a commitment to the principles of democracy in our republic, the Heritage Ensemble has boldly remained committed to the ideals of unity, peace, and community.

The Heritage Ensemble began as a vision from the founder and artistic director, Mrs. Sharon Samuels Reed. Together a core group of performers were called upon to be the pivotal community in the Opera Illinois production of Porgy and Bess. In preparation for this production, the group performed A Concert of Spirituals. This marked the beginning of a choral ensemble that has taken the Peoria Metro community, the State of Illinois, and our United States on musical journeys that have been described as “edutainment,” a rich blend of education and entertainment. Thus, every year the Heritage Ensemble presents two signature concerts, the Martin Luther King Jr., Concert in January and the Juneteenth concert in June.

Mission Statement: The Heritage Ensemble exists to celebrate the culture and history of African-Americans through music. People of all cultures will be exposed to the diversity, beauty, richness, and complexity of musical literature born out of the African-American Experience. Whether it is through our singing or the message in our music, the Heritage Ensemble strives to tear down walls and build bridges between all people. This diverse literature—spirituals, bullies, ragtime, jazz, gospel, work songs, hollers will be presented in a professional manner for the education and enjoyment of its members as well as for the entertainment and cultural enrichment of the community.

In staying ever true to the mission of the Heritage Ensemble, The Youth Heritage Ensemble was founded. The Youth Heritage Ensemble was established for young people in grades 7-12 to strengthen and nurture the youth of our community. In addition to performing a diverse set of musical selections, these young members have an opportunity to cultivate leadership, citizenship, and professional skills that will serve them well in their future careers. The legacy of the Heritage Ensemble is mirrored in the Youth Heritage Ensemble, blending the wisdom of experience with the excitement of youth! True to our commitment to unity and growth, the Youth Heritage Ensemble and the Heritage Ensemble will perform in one “united voice” on January 14, 2017!

We encourage you, your family, and your friends to spend Saturday, January 14, 2017 at 7:30pm at the Performing Arts Center of Illinois Central College on a journey with the Heritage Ensemble. The theme is “The Dream Continues: A Choral Celebration to the Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” Together we shall move through time–encouraged, hopeful, and restored. Tickets may be obtained from any Heritage Ensemble member or at the window of the ICC Performing Arts Center. Prices are $15 Adults, $12 Seniors, and $8 Students.