Reverend Dr. Herbert V.R.P. Jones knows for a fact that Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. would be proud of the work he and co-founder Kris Rust have done to eradicate racism and bulldoze social injustice through their annual “Let Freedom Sing” concerts.
“I grew up in a civil rights family and I marched while I was younger and in high school. We did all of the boycotts and sit-ins in Mississippi and marched with Dr. King, especially on the march from Memphis to Jackson, so the experience of having lived through that and being a part of that is very, very meaningful,” explained Rev. Jones. “Also, being a product of the Morehouse generation of which he was a product, he would be very, very proud because the concert is celebrating community where you have diverse people of all backgrounds coming together to celebrate.”
Reverend Jones grew up in Jackson, Miss., and now resides in Pittsburgh.
The Let Freedom Sing concerts, now in its 11th year, strive to celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. This year’s shows will be held at Ebenezer Baptist Church in the Hill District on Saturday, Jan. 13 at 7 p.m. and on Monday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. at the Byham Theater, Downtown.
Both concerts will feature the Heritage Gospel Chorale of Pittsburgh under Jones’ direction and an intergenerational choir of singers from high school, church, temple and community choirs from across Greater Pittsburgh. The Trevor C. Dance Collective and Reed Dance II will perform, and KDKA-TV’s Lynne Hayes-Freeland will emcee both concerts. The concerts celebrate unity and diversity while raising funds for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank.
The MLK festival choir is made up of singers from Pittsburgh CAPA, Ebenezer Baptist Church, the Lemington Chorale, Allderdice High School, Temple Sinai, Woodland Hills High School and the Greater Pittsburgh Unitarian Universalist churches.