The Lincoln City Cultural Center will present its first-ever celebration of the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. this Sunday, Jan. 19, with a performance by Eugene’s Inspirational Sounds Gospel Choir.

Well known throughout Oregon for its energetic renditions of gospel music, the Inspirational Sounds Gospel Choir is often featured at Martin Luther King Day celebrations in Eugene and Portland.

The choir seeks to promote the heritage of African-American gospel musical traditions, which are rooted in American music. Organization membership includes singers from Eugene, Springfield, Veneta and Corvallis. The group is a unique gospel choir because it includes a large percentage of non-African Americans but still retains a traditional Black gospel choir sound. The choir encourages audiences to become involved, joining them in clapping, shouting, singing and celebrating.

Sunday’s program will include prayers and readings, including the “Lift Every Voice and Sing (Black National Anthem)” and “Can’t Nobody Turn Me Around,” led by the choir’s director, Kathy Vrzak. The master of ceremonies will be Toni Unfred. There will be instrumental music by My Band, featuring Darline Jackson. The theme of the program, which will also offer a biography of the civil rights leader, will be “Where There is Unity There is Strength.”

The concert, presented as part of the 2019/20 Vocal Arts Series, will start at 2 pm in the auditorium of the cultural center at 540 NE Hwy. 101. Tickets, $15 for adults, $13 for seniors aged 60 and up, and $5 for kids aged 18 and under, are available at lincolncityculturalcenter.org or by calling 541-994-9994.

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