Background

"Promoting Arts Education in the Community through Educational Grants"

Mission Statement

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Choir San Diego (MLKCCSD) is a non-profit charitable organization. The Choir's purpose is to raise funds through a series of concerts for educational grants that we distribute to aspiring college-bound high school majors in Visual and Performing Arts from the San Diego County area.

If you would like to support the cause of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Choir San Diego, please contact us.


History

The Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Choir was conceived in 1990 through collaboration of the San Diego Symphony Association, the San Diego County Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and the San Diego Baptist Ministers Union. The first performance of this Choir was organized and directed by Louise E. Pearson, a music educator with the San Diego Unified School District, now retired. The Rev. Glenn L. Jones, former Pastor of Mt. Sinai Baptist Church then conducted the choir for the next five years.

The Choir originally joined together to perform annually as the Martin Luther King, Jr. Commemorative Choir. The Choir at that time featured approximately 200 voices from the San Diego County community. The purpose was to raise funds for scholarship grants by performing musical tributes of gospel favorites, with the San Diego Symphony.

From left to right: Cherry Arnold-Verry, Glenn L. Jones, Louise E. Pearson, and Ken Anderson

The Director

In 1996, Pastor Ken Anderson, through the assistance of the San Diego County Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance and the San Diego Baptist Ministers Union, became the Director of the Martin Luther King Commemorative Choir.

In 1997, Pastor Anderson reorganized the Choir, renamed it - Martin Luther King Jr. Community Choir San Diego - with a new purpose and a Board of Directors. Pastor Anderson changed the performance schedule from once a year to a full concert series, starting in September and ending in June.

In addition to directing MLKCCSD, Pastor Anderson is college pastor and choir director at Grace Church San Diego (formerly Scott Memorial Community Church); a music teacher in the public school system; and Director of the UCSD Gospel Choir and Grossmont College Gospel Choir.

The Choir

The Choir has performed consistently throughout San Diego County. In December 1998, the Choir performed with the San Diego Symphony in "T'was the Night" and in May 1999, performed with the Symphony at College Avenue Baptist Church and First United Methodist Church in Chula Vista. The concert schedule has included performances for the NAACP, San Diego Hospice; San Diego Museum of Art; Christmas on the Prado; Southwestern College; Point Loma Nazarene University and many, many Churches throughout San Diego County.

The Choir has also performed internationally, with a European tour in 2004 to the Czech Republic, Austria and Italy. In 2009 the Choir travelled to Europe again, giving concerts in Denmark and the Netherlands.

By the end of it's tenth season in 2008, the Choir had raised over one hundred thousand dollars and given 54 educational grants to students with creative and diverse artistic talents.

Membership in the Choir is open to singers and musicians, from all denominations, with prior choral experience. Members must have a desire to volunteer their time and talents, and attend regular weekly scheduled rehearsals. Auditions are held for new members at the start of every season. Find out how to join.


Kente Cloths

Kente Cloths, as we know them, were developed in the 17th century by the Ashanti (Asante) people, a major ethnic group in Ghana, Africa with a long tradition of weaving dating back to about 3000 B.C.

The term kente has its roots in the word kenten, which means "basket". The raffia fibers that the first kente weavers used made the woven cloths look like kenten (a basket), and thus were referred to as kenten ntoma meaning "basket cloth". the kente is a ceremonial cloth hand-woven on a horizontal tread loom. Cloths come in various colors, sizes and designs, and are worn during important social and religious occasions. Many variations of narrow-strip cloths, similar to kente, are woven by various ethnic groups in Ghana and elsewhere in Africa.

In a cultural context, kente is more important than just a cloth. It is a visual representation of history, philosophy, ethics, oral literature, moral values, social codes of conduct, religious beliefs, political thought and aesthetic principles. Kente is used not only for its beauty, but also for its symbolic significance. Each cloth has a name and a meaning, as do each of the numerous patterns and motifs.