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MHS Symphonic Choir honored at MLK Day celebration

MHS Symphonic Choir honored at MLK Day celebration
Posted on 01/18/2018

The McMinnville High School Symphonic Choir and director Robin Pederson were honored during their appearance at a Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration last weekend. The group was recognized with Yolanda D. King Award for their contribution to the arts.

The choir’s performance was part of the "Drum Major Celebration," which is named from a quote of Martin Luther King Jr: "If you want to say that I was a drum major, say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace. I was a drum major for righteousness. And all of the other shallow things will not matter."

This year marks the third appearance of the choir at the event. In 2016, Governor Kate Brown was one of the speakers, which led to her invitation to the choir to sing at her official inauguration in January 2017.

“This event is incredible for the kids, as they get to see and live culture and history,” said Pederson. “The pulpit in the church is the only place that Martin Luther King Jr. spoke in Oregon.

“The event features speakers from many faiths, including Baptist, Jewish, Muslim, Native American, and others. Every speaker is passionate about love and justice.  It is amazing to see different races and creeds sitting together on the stage in front of us. The people are so loving and welcoming of each other and of us.”

The performance, which took place in the Vancouver Avenue First Baptist Church of Portland, included "Stand Together" by Jim Papoulis; "John the Revelator" arranged by Paul Caldwell and Sean Ivory; and "The Awakening" by Joseph Martin.

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