In Memory of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Undine Smith Moore

The 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination will be commemorated on March 4th. In conjunction with Black History Month (February) and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (the third Monday in January), music institutions across the country are seeking to honor the forward-looking dreams of Dr. King in their early 2018 programs. One such programmatic choice is UNDINE SMITH MOORE‘s 16-section choral cantata on the life of Dr. King, Scenes from the Life of a Martyr (1981), which is receiving a well-deserved new life in the repertoire of American choruses and orchestras.

Scenes from the Life of a Martyr (1981)
For Solo Voices, Chorus, Narrator, and Orchestra
Orchestrated by Donald Rauscher

Duration: 50′
Orchestration: Solo Soprano, Alto, Tenor, Bass; Narrator, SATB Chorus; 3(Picc.) 3(E.H.) 3(B.Cl.) 3(Cbsn.) – 4 3 3 1; Timp. Perc. Hp. Str.

Program Note
The lives of all martyrs have much in common. This work, written specifically in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr., is, therefore, intended to evoke memories of others who have been Valiant-for-Truth.

Portions of the text not written by the composer are chosen from the Bible and a few other poets of different times, races, places.

The composer conceives the variety in text and variety in musical styles to be appropriate to the memory of a man of all the people; who had a dream for all men, of all time, everywhere.

–Undine Smith Moore
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