Thursday concert to celebrate MLK Jr.

Faculty and students in Mississippi State's music department will perform "The Poetry of Langston Hughes in Song" on Thursday, Jan. 17 in the Harrison Auditorium of Giles Hall.

Free to all, the 7:30 p.m. concert featuring musical settings for a number of Hughes' poems will be followed immediately by a reception in the lobby sponsored by the university chapter of Sigma Alpha Iota music fraternity.

The event is among several organized campus programs celebrating the annual national Martin Luther King Jr. memorial observance.

Hughes was an American social activist, novelist, playwright and columnist. He was a leader of the Harlem Renaissance, the explosion of African-American culture during the 1920s and early 1930s centered in New York's Harlem district.

Professor Karen Murphy will direct and serve as pianist during the interdisciplinary collaborative portion of the program. Nancy Hargrove, MSU Giles Distinguished Professor Emerita of English, will provide brief commentaries on Hughes, the renaissance and each set of poems-songs to be performed.

The musical portion features two songs performed by the State Singers and directed by choral director Gary Packwood. He also will sing "The Negro Speaks of Rivers," which is based on Hughes' first and most famous published works.

Also on the program will be selections during the second and third sets featuring student performers. The finale will consist of three songs from the opera "Street Scene," with music by Kurt Weill and lyrics by Hughes.

For more information about the performance, contact the music department at 662-325-3070.

Margaret Kovar | University Relations

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