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Song and Stories: From Civil War to Civil Rights at GPAC

Finale of Songs and Stories: From Civil War to Civil Rights.
Finale of Songs and Stories: From Civil War to Civil Rights.

A collaboration between the Departments of History and Music, the program presented February 28th featured music, readings, and photographs from this dynamic period. The event included the UNCP Jazz Combo I, conducted by Dr. Aaron Vandermeer; the University Chorale, conducted by Dr. José Rivera and accompanied by Akemi Williams; and a Brass Quintet led by Dr. Joanna Hersey, as well as individual musical performances and readings by students and faculty members.

“All of our Songs and Stories concerts bring together lots of different voices and types of performance, with costumes and images to help audience members immerse themselves in the period,” said Dr. Jaime Martinez, a history professor who directs the concert series.

“This year, we’re highlighting two different periods, with a special focus on 1868 and 1968. The Civil War half of the program will conclude with the ratification of the 14th Amendment, which redefined citizenship in this country. The Civil Rights half of the program, meanwhile, considers many of the actions taken in 1968 by people and organizations fighting for full and equal citizenship.”

A slideshow of period photographs, interspersed with audio and video clips, accompanied the concert. The finale featured the Pembroke Elementary School Choir in an emotional rendition of "We Shall Overcome." Artwork by students from Robeson County middle and high schools was displayed in the lobby beginning at 6:45 p.m. and during intermission.  The exhibition was accompanied by a reception.