'Singing the Dream' features new work, Harlem choir


On Jan. 26, “Singing the Dream,” an annual civic and cultural event, will bring together singers from all walks of life for an afternoon of song and fellowship in tribute to the life and legacy of civil rights leader and American hero, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Led by Temple Emanu-El’s hazzan, Cantor Dr. Brian J. Mayer, and a production team of seasoned professionals, the concert will be held in Temple Emanu-El’s 700-person capacity sanctuary in Providence.

“We are excited to bring people of all faiths together to sing out in the name of social justice in honor of Dr. King,” said Miriam A. Ross, event founder/producer and member of Temple Emanu-El. “Singing the Dream is about bringing people of different faiths, race and nationality together to celebrate diversity, encourage inclusion and cultivate the human connection.  We will sing out in harmony and unity, reflecting not only Dr. King’s goals but our hopes that the change he inspired continues to ever-widening spheres.  Music can bring everyone together.”

The Singing the Dream Chorus, a community chorus of singers from amateur to professional, will perform a concert ofAfrican-American spirituals and Jewish hymns. The concert will also includethe East Coast premiere of “I Felt My Legs Were Praying,” a song composed by New York-based Cantor Gerald Cohen reflecting on the historic 1965 march from Selma to Montgomery by Dr. King and 600 civil rights demonstrators, including the late Rabbi Eli Bohnen of Temple Emanu-El. 

Featured guest artists are members of the Sing Harlem Choir, an award-winning, influentialforce in the New York gospel scene.Under the leadership of Directors Ahmaya Knoelle Higginson and Elijah Ahmad Lewis, the Sing Harlem Choir performs at many prestigious venues across America including The Congressional Black Caucus,The Stellar Awards, New York Fashion Week, the Grammy Awards and The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon.

Vy Higginsen, noted author, playwright, radio and TV personality and founder of the Emmy Award-winningMama Foundation for the Arts and Sing Harlem Choir, will be the featured guest speaker.  Senior Rabbi Michael Fel of Temple Emanu-El will offer the invocation and Rev. Rebecca Spencer of the Central Congregational Church, Providence, will give the benediction.

Singing the Dream 2020will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at Temple Emanu-El, 99 Taft Ave., Providence. Tickets are $18 in advance online at singingthedream2020.eventbrite.comand $25 at the door. Seating is general admission. Singing the Dream 2020 is supported by a grant from the Bliss, Gross, Horowitz Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.