MLK Celebration Events

Celebrating the Legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr.

January 16-17, 2021 | Free events!


The Music Institute of Chicago celebrates the legacy of Martin Luther King, Jr. through music and discussion via virtual events on Saturday, January 16 and Sunday, January 17.


“The Martin Luther King, Jr. celebration is an opportunity for us to acknowledge the achievements of Dr. King, as well as affirm our resolve to make progress on issues of racial justice, especially as they relate to the teaching of music,” remarked MIC President and CEO Mark George about the weekend events.


Saturday, January 16 | 3 pm

Keynote Lecture: To Be Free: Race, Music, and American History

Panel Discussion:  The Intersection of Music and Race

Featured keynote speaker Stephanie Shonekan is the Associate Dean of the College of Arts & Science and Professor of Music at the University of Missouri. Shonekan earned a PhD in ethnomusicology and folklore with a minor in African American Studies from Indiana University. Her publications explore the nexus where identity, history, culture and music meet. Her most recent books include: Black Lives Matter and Music (2018), and Black Resistance in the Americas (2018).


A panel discussion including Shonekan, composers Carlos Simon and Daniel Bernard Roumain, and Alyce Claerbaut, President, Billy Strayhorn Songs, Inc. follows.

Sunday, January 17 | 3 pm

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Concert

The Music Institute presents an afternoon concert featuring special guest artists and MIC students, faculty, and alumni.






Remarks:  Mayor Steve Hagerty, City of Evanston; Dr. Helene Gayle, President & CEO for The Chicago Community Trust; Reverend Dr. Raymond Hylton, Senior Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Evanston; and Dr. Mark George, President & CEO, Music Institute of Chicago


Performances including:



Thank you to event sponsor The Chicago Community Trust and the Music Institute of Chicago's 90th Anniversary Season Partners

the Illinois Arts Council, City of Evanston,

Steinway & Sons, and Shure.