Celebrate Soul with the Grand Rapids Symphony

2015 marks the 10th Anniversary of Celebration of Soul, the Grand Rapids Symphony’s event preceding the Symphony with Soul concert. On February 28, 2015, Celebration of Soul continues its recognition of individuals and organizations who are dedicated to diversity, inclusion and bridge-building across cultures in West Michigan. The Grand Rapids Symphony’s commitment to establishing a diverse community reverberates in all the orchestra’s programs and services, including the selection of diverse guest artists, composers and conductors as well as Symphony musicians who donate their time to a number of schools and organizations. The Symphony’s music education programs diligently serve schools where arts education is a mere fraction of the curriculum. 

Both Symphony with Soul and Celebration of Soul were part of Music Director David Lockington’s vision. Since he began his tenure in 1999, the Symphony has seen talent like soprano Kathleen Battle, Dee Dee Bridgewater and Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Event proceeds go to the Symphony’s music education initiatives, including the Mosaic Scholarship program. This program, launched in 2006 by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, provides instruments, lessons, mentorship opportunities and concert tickets to talented African-American and Hispanic students.

As part of the Celebration of Soul, David Lockington, the Grand Rapids Urban League and Catherine Williams (posthumously) will be honored with the Dr. MaLinda P. Sapp Legacy Award.  Recipients are inspirational, consistent, innovative leaders who successfully model diversity, engagement and inclusion in their sphere. Past recipients include Dr. Marvin L. Sapp, Peter M. Wege, Baxter Community Center and the Hispanic Center for West Michigan. 

The 14th Annual Symphony with Soul concert will feature NAACP Image Award-winner and Grammy-nominated artist Vanessa Williams. The Grand Rapids Symphony is proud to collaborate with the Community Inclusion Group to bring Williams to the DeVos Performance Hall stage. In itself, this partnership is indicative of a strong community and an investment in diversity and inclusion. Ms. Williams is also known for her philanthropic work for Hearts of Gold, the Get Schooled Foundation and Habitat for Humanity, among others. 

The Celebration of Soul package includes dinner, the Symphony with Soul concert and the opportunity to meet Vanessa Williams at the after party. Tickets are $150 per person. To join the celebration, visit COS2015.eventbrite.com or call 616.454.9451 x4. Tickets are available for the Symphony with Soul concert only at www.ticketmaster.com. 

Posted by Sam Napolitan at 8:00 AM
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