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SMS Student Performers Honor MLK in Commemoration and Celebration Concert

The seats filled quickly in the Skyview Middle School auditorium Wednesday, April 4. As parents, siblings and friends found a place to sit, performers practiced their speeches and songs backstage for the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration and Celebration Concert. The one-night-only production paid tribute to the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Dakota Brockel, an eighth grader at SMS, memorized the poem “Dreams,” by Langston Hughes for the event. Dokata Brockel, eighth-grader at SMS, practices a poem backstage of the SMS MLK Concert in April “This poem is about dreams,” she said. The assignment revealed to the middle-schooler a link between the late civil rights leader and the theme of the words she committed to memory. “Without dreams we can’t take off, and we can’t accomplish things, so without his dream he wouldn’t be able to march and to accomplish the things he did.

The night of song and spoken word at SMS recognized the mission and values of Dr. King who died 50 years ago. Director of Vocal Music, Dr. Harriet Jarmon, and Kat Brundage, Director of Theater Arts, organized the production. The musical performances ranged from lively spirituals to more contemporary songs while other students re-created some of Dr. King’s more well-known speeches. 

 “I think they are at the right age to be very open to [the subject],” Brundage said about the student performers. “I think the important messages that we are trying to share are still very relevant today.” 

SMS principal Catherine Tinucci agreed that teaching through songs and poetry is an innovative way to reach younger students. “It’s more just the adults being able to communicate to them the history and the significance of it,” said Tinucci. “[They’re] making it important in [students’] lives and connecting it to what they see every day.” Dr. Harriet G. Jarmon, Director of Vocal Music at SMS, rehearses with the Eagle Honor Choir ahead of the SMS MLK concert

When the curtain went up on the Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration and Celebration Concert, the audience saw those lessons come alive.

The SMS 6th Grade Chorus performs "Good News" during the MLK Celebration Concert in April   A crowd of SMS families and friends gathered for the MLK Commemoration and Celebration Concert

David Nancarrow