Arts & Culture
6:39 pm
Mon January 21, 2013

Let Freedom Sing for MLK Day

The sixth annual Let Freedom Sing event is a set of two concerts performed in the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, aimed at bringing together different cross-sections of the Pittsburgh region—young and old; black and white; urban and suburban.

The first concert was held Saturday in East Liberty to a capacity audience. Monday night's concert will be held at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville.

Kris Rust, choral director of Franklin Regional as well as the co-founder of this event, feels many kids don’t see the significance of MLK day.

“I think in most communities of our country there’s not a lot of recognition given on the Martin Luther King holiday—it always felt like, kind of a random day off,” he said.

Rust said he started the concert to build a bridge across racial lines.

“I also feel very strongly that our—that most places in our country, and the Pittsburgh/Greater Pittsburgh area in particular, is a very segregated region, you know, along racial lines and along class lines,” Rust said.

In addition to performances by various high school and church choirs, monetary donations will also be accepted for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank and the Westmoreland County Food Bank.

As for why food banks are associated with an MLK charity, Rust said it was because of need.

“We know that there are people in our communities who are hungry and who need [the food banks],” he said. “And, you know, I think it’s just a—what more basic human need is there than food?”

Last year was the first time a charity was associated with the event, and Rust said it went well—around $2,500 was raised between the two food banks.

The concert at Franklin Regional High School begins at 7 p.m Monday. More information on the concert can be found online.