Community concert pays tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. King

BY ALLEN A. BUCHANAN, Staff Writer

ST. PETERSBURG – Mt. Zion Progressive Missionary Baptist Church held their annual concert paying tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Daniel D., a classically trained violinist who has toured internationally, kicked off the celebration with his crowd-rousing rendition of “It’s The God In Me.”

The Mt. Zion Progressive Marching Band, in their maroon, gold, and white uniforms, strutted in sync down the center aisle of the church and took their positions in the front of the sanctuary as the community cheered them on.

Always a spectacle of talent, youthful exuberance and hope for the future, the mighty marching band spiritually rocked the house. Proud parents, church members and visitors alike stood up and swayed with the music.

As the marching band exited the sanctuary, the MLK I Have A Dream Mass Choir, under the direction of Minister Kevin B. Parrott, stood up to entertain the audience of more than 200 people.  Strong, young voices poured out praises of tribute in honor of Dr. King. If he were here to see them, he would be smiling from ear-to-ear

The Warriors of Praise were the first of two mime groups to honor the legacy of Dr. King. Their energy, expressions and moves had everyone of the edge of their seat if they were not already standing.

Talking through movement, facial expression and gestures can sometimes be more impactful than any spoken or written word because the language is universal, yet interpreted differently depending on the individual and where he or she may be spiritually in life at the time.

Dream Mime performed with razor sharp movement and pinpoint focus. It reminded this writer of how on-point Dr. King had to be when locked for non-violently fighting for what was humanly right or the times he had to think beyond the moment when attack dogs were trying to rip him and supporters apart as they marched peacefully. Mime has a unique way of expressing the best and worst of human experience with tinge of hope for a brighter day.

Turning out the evening with a mini concert was Cepeda McKay and No Limits. This group of five women and one man performed like they were getting ready for a national tour; big voices, synched harmonies and non-stop movement.

The south St. Petersburg community has a reputation for developing world-class artists. Because Dr. King was determined to put his life on the line to tear down the brick walls of segregation, young artists like Cepeda McKay and No Limits have “no limits” to how far they can go to achieve their dreams.

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