"The Spiritual: From Slavery to Civil Rights," a Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration
Date: Jan. 18, 2017
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Crimi Auditorium in the Institute for Collaboration | 1347 Prairie St., Aurora
Aurora University presents its annual celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. with a special performance by lyric baritone Robert Sims. This classic recital with American songs and freedom songs will be complemented with commentary about African-American spirituals and civil rights.
Robert Sims, Gold Medal winner of the American Traditions Competition, has been hailed by critics for his rich tone, energetic performances, and convincing stage presence. He also has been highly praised for his moving interpretations of African American spirituals, and has given numerous recitals of them throughout the United States, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. He has appeared with many orchestras in the U.S., and toured Japan with the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra where he was featured in a nationally televised performance of Bernstein's “Opening Prayer.” In 2005, Sims made his recital debut at Carnegie Hall and was invited by Jessye Norman to participate in “Honor! A Celebration of the African American Cultural Legacy at Carnegie Hall” in March of 2009. He recently appeared with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and has performed in concert at New York’s Lincoln Center, the Smithsonian Institution, Ravinia, Chautauqua, Savannah, Grant Park, and Big Arts summer music festivals, the Latour de France International Music Festival, and the celebrated American Church in Paris. Under the auspices of Canti Classics, Community Concerts, and the Live On Stage Series, Sims has performed more than 150 recitals throughout the United States.
Recently, Sims released a CD of spirituals arranged by Roland Hayes and a biography titled "Roland Hayes: The Legacy of an American Tenor" (Indiana University Press 2016) in collaboration with Christopher A. Brooks.