Indiana State University Newsroom

Concert to celebrate 50th anniversary of Civil Rights Act

January 12, 2015

Indiana State University's School of Music and history department will present a concert celebrating the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act, 7:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 22, at the historic Indiana Theater.

The concert, which is free and open to the public, also commemorates -- in music, visuals and word -- the era of the civil rights movement in America and the dynamic and tumultuous decade of the '60s.

"New Morning for the World," a composition by Joseph Schwantner for narrator and orchestra (transcribed for wind ensemble), uses excerpts from King's speeches as its focal point. The music is dramatic, intense, poignant and violent at times, as it seeks to represent the great words of the fallen civil rights leader.

Christopher Olsen, professor and chair of Indiana State's history department, will narrate the work. Accompanying the performance will be a compilation of dramatic and moving images of the '60s in film, including the Selma march and many of the well-known images that have become symbols of those turbulent times.

Michael Daugherty's composition "Rosa Parks Boulevard" was written and dedicated to the pioneering civil rights heroine, whose simple act of defiance in refusing to move to the back of the bus on Dec. 1, 1955, sparked the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott. Parks later earned the title "Mother to a Movement," and her act of personal courage inspired the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and many of the leaders of the movement. On the frontispiece of King's book "Stride Toward Freedom," are the words: "To Rosa Parks, whose creative witness was the great force that led to the modern stride toward freedom."

As part of the celebration, additional photographs and artwork commemorating civil rights in Terre Haute as well as across the nation will be on display in the theater's lobby. A reception, 5-7 p.m., will precede the event.


Contact: Roby George, associate professor and director of bands, School of Music, Indiana State University, or 812-237-2771

Media Contact: Libby Roerig, media relations assistant director, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or