February 24, 2018!

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—Ella, A Tribute!

2018 Celebration of Soul Honorees
♦  Celebration! Cinema
♦  Herschell Turner
♦  Skot & Barbara Welch

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.

For more information on the Celebration of Soul Gala or to purchase tickets or a sponsorship, please call 616.454.9451 x 124 or click here.

To order Symphony with Soul tickets only, please call 616.454.9541 x4.

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
•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


2018 COS Sponsors

Concert Sponsor: 

Guest Artist Sponsor: 

Legacy Award Sponsor:
 Kate Pew Wolters

 Keller Foundation

Corporate Partners: 
Ford Motor Company | Frey Foundation | Larry and Mary Gerbens | Grand Rapids Community Foundation | Grand Valley State University | Meijer | Mercy Health | Tim and Karen O'Donovan | Pridgeon & Clay Inc. | Bishop Dr. Marvin L. Sapp | Varnum LLP

Community Partner: Grand Rapids First

Media Partner: WGVU

In-Kind: Grand Rapids-Kent County Convention/Arena Authority