February 16, 2019!

JW Marriott, International Ballroom | DeVos Performance Hall

Be sure to mark this amazing event on your calendar as the Grand Rapids Symphony honors the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that celebrate the importance of diversity, inclusion and bridge-building in West Michigan with the MaLinda P. Sapp Awards, and entertains guests with a fabulous concert featuring Black Violin!

2019 Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Award Honorees
♦ Isaac V. Norris + Associates, P.C.
♦ John Varineau
♦ Noel Webley II

Both Celebration of Soul as well as a portion of the Symphony with Soul ticket revenue benefits the Grand Rapids Symphony’s extensive Gateway to Music education and access programs which reaches over 75,000 West Michigan students in urban, rural and suburban school districts.  Among those programs, the Grand Rapids Symphony’s Mosaic Scholarship Program benefits 20 African American and Hispanic students. Each Mosaic scholar receives instrument rental, private instrument lessons from a professional musician and season tickets to the Symphony’s Richard and Helen DeVos Classical Series.

2019 Celebration of Soul Itinerary
5 PM | Social Reception
5:30 PM | Dinner & Legacy Awards
8 PM | Symphony with Soul Concert
10 PM | Afterglow Reception

Gala tickets are $150. For more information on the Celebration of Soul Gala, to purchase tickets or a sponsorship, please call 616.454.9451 x 122.

To order Symphony with Soul tickets featuring Black Violin only, please call 616.454.9541 x4 or click HERE.

Join the Grand Rapids Symphony Community Chorus

The Grand Rapids Symphony Community Chorus is looking for members to join us for Symphony with Soul 2019! For more information about the chorus, please email Julie Nystedt at, including your name, address, and your interest in the Community Gospel Chorus.

About Celebration of Soul

In 2006, the Grand Rapids Symphony created Celebration of Soul, an event to honor the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that celebrate the importance of diversity, inclusion and bridge-building in West Michigan. The Grand Rapids Symphony’s commitment to establishing a diverse community reverberates in all the orchestra’s programs and services. This is reflected in the selection of diverse guest artists and conductors who embrace diversity, Symphony musicians who donate their time, as well as Symphony music education programs that serve schools in which arts education is a fraction of the curriculum.

As part of Celebration of Soul, the Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Award was established to honor individuals and organizations for their on-going diversity efforts and accomplishments. The award celebrates an organization or person's distinguished leadership and on-going commitment to advancing engagement, inclusion and diversity. A recipient is a leader that successfully models diversity and inclusion in their profession or industry. They are inspirational, consistent and innovative and encourage others to be culturally competent. The Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Award gives the community the opportunity to recognize honorees for their commitment to diversity, education, and bridging cultural differences.

Past Celebration of Soul Recipients
•Celebration Cinema
•Herschell Turner
•Skot & Barbara Welch
•Cherry Health
•Christina Arnold 
•Elias Lumpkins 
•Stephen and Clarice Drew  
•Huntington Bank 
•David Lockington
•Grand Rapids Urban League
•Catherine Williams (posthumously)
•Paul Collins
•Hispanic Center of West Michigan
•Grand Rapids African American Health Institute
•Edye Evans Hyde
•Rev. Nathaniel Moody
•Baxter Community Center
•Mary K. Hoodhood
•Debra L. Perry
•Peter M. Wege
•Sonya Hughes
•W.K. Kellogg Foundation
•Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp
•Dr. Marvin L. Sapp
•Duane and Kaye Davis
•Bing Goei
•Rev. Clifton Rhodes, Jr.
•Dr. Ed Dobson
•Rev. Lyman Parks, Sr. 
•Drs. James and Charsie Sawyer
•George A. Bayard III
•Ruth Jones Hairston 
•Bishop William C. Abney
•Jonathan Jelks
•Patricia C. Pulliam, Ph.D