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Arts Post
Posted at 09:30 AM ET, 08/25/2011

Artist, Explained: Dr. David Morrow, director of the Morehouse College Glee Club

The Morehouse College Glee Club is returning to the District for three performances as part of the events honoring the dedication of fellow alumnus Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s. memorial on the National Mall. King, who graduated from the school in 1948. Dr. David Morrow, who has directed the choir since 1987, took a few minutes to talk with Arts Post.

“We are gonna sing a couple of arrangements by – a couple of pieces, one arrangement and one composition – by Uzee Brown, and he is the chairman of the music department at Morehouse. The first piece is “God, Give Us Men.” It is a piece that uses the texts of Dr. King in a speech that he made, challenged for the new age. And then we’re doing the arrangement “I’m Building Me A Home,” a spiritual.”

“ ‘God Give Us Men’ talks about – it uses a speech that Dr. King made talking about leaders and leadership, and what is necessary for good leadership. And so that’s a wonderful tribute to him, and that’s why we chose it. “I’m Building Me A Home” is a spiritual that we have been singing for a good number of years. In fact it was featured in [Morehouse alum] Spike Lee’s movie, ‘School Daze,’ and we thought that was appropriate as well. It’s very exciting as well as humbling to be able to think that we would be part of such a big celebration – [this] is quite a big deal for us.

“I hope that [the Club members] will get a sense of the history and how they fit in it. Certainly they did not grow up during the Civil Rights Movement, but I hope that they can see as they interact with people and see all these people who will be there and be so proud, some of whom [knew] Dr. King, some who are just like them, who only heard of him. I hope they will get a chance to understand that they do have a connection to not just to him, but to everything that he stood for, and that they are the results – that their lives, and what they enjoy are the results of a lot of work that he did.”


WASHINGTON, DC - AUGUST 22: The Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial is on view for the general public in Washington. D.C.. on Monday, August 22, 2011. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post)
“I think for me – I mean, I’m just a little bit beyond them in terms of – at least I knew who Dr. King was, but did not get a chance to meet him – but was alive for a short time while he was alive.

But to see that monument go up among all the others that are there, and to see it as so significant in that it represents everybody, but of course, the affinitive being African Americans, and seeing that first monument to an African American, in DC on the mall, I think is so important and so exciting.”

“I really can’t wait to see it.”

The Morehouse College Glee Club will perform on Aug. 26 at DAR Constitution Hall; Aug. 27 at the Martin King Jr. Memorial Library, and Aug. 28 as part of the Memorial dedication festivities. For more information, visit mcgclub.com. For additional events, visit The Post’s Going Out Guide.

By Erin Williams  |  09:30 AM ET, 08/25/2011

 
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