A LETTER TO MARTIN LUTHER KING III
John Meldrum / ZAP Music Association
13, passage des Soupirs
75020 Paris, France
tel: 33 (0)1 43 58 39 71
Martin Luther King III
c/o The King Foundation
449 Auburn Ave, NE
Atlanta, Georgia 30312
USA January 25, 2021
Dear Martin Luther King III,
I am honored to present PEACE ORATORIO - the life of your father Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Racism is a disease and music education can be an essential part of the cure. The story of Dr. King’s life and the civic lessons to be learned therein will help people understand how important America’s institutions are to democracy at home and in the world. Music education can open hard hearts to change; it is an excellent vehicle to transmit the values of universal sisterhood and brotherhood. Children, teens and adults of all colors and creeds will be inoculated against prejudice and violent behavior by raising their voices together to sing No Gun, No Fight, No War, No Poverty! Telling the story of Martin’s inspiring quest for freedom in 17 original songs is PEACE ORATORIO’s mission.
The tragic events of January 6th in Washington DC have made me see that outreach work of singing, listening and learning together can help Americans overcome the hatred of the recent and distant past. In 2023/2024, I will return to the USA to run singing workshops with different communities in Washington DC, Atlanta, Georgia and my hometown Cleveland, Ohio. We will bring them together for concerts in Washington DC on August 28, 2023 to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the March for Jobs and Freedom and July 2nd 2024 for the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
PEACE ORATORIO is not just an entertaining work of art; it’s a process of helping people to continue building the Beloved Community so dear to your father’s vision. The symbol and the sound of people of all colors singing and making music together are crucial to a beneficent future for our nation and the world.
Will you support me as I bring singers and musicians from churches, local choirs, orchestras and bands together to perform songs such as Peace Freedom Justice and Brother, Brother? Will we succeed to push racism aside for a few hours to put on a show like no other? So that, as Amanda Gorman recited from her poem The Hill We Climb while standing on the steps of Capitol Hill last January 20th…
“If we merge mercy with might and might with right,
Then love becomes our legacy and change our children’s birthright.
The new dawn blooms as we free it. For there is always light
If only we’re brave enough to see it, if only we’re brave enough to be it.”
Thank you for your attention.
Artistic Director, Peace Oratorio