Skip to Content


January 18, 2014

Colorado Symphony Honors Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

24th Annual Tribute Concert Tuesday, January 24, 7:30 pm

Free to all ages 

The Colorado Symphony is honored to present the Dr. Martin Luther King Tribute Concert and Humanitarian Awards on Tuesday, January 14, 7:30 pm, at Boettcher Concert Hall in Denver.

Joseph F. Young conducts a moving, celebratory program that highlights works by African American composers, including Jonathan Bailey Holland and William Levi Dawson. Tamara Banks returns as Mistress of Ceremonies.

Presented in partnership with the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Colorado Holiday Commission and Humanitarian Award Committee, this concert is free for all ages. Tickets are required for seating, and are available through the Boettcher Concert Hall Box Office, located in the Denver Performing Arts Complex.

Music was a key ingredient in the Civil Rights Movement, lifting spirits for the long struggle, which continues today. Now in its 24th year, this annual concert extols the life, work and legacy of Dr. King, America’s “drum major for peace,” through music, community and acknowledgement of individuals who live and lead in King’s example. Seven individuals will be honored during this year’s program; former First Lady Wilma Webb will also award a special honor, to be announced during the concert. The Colorado Symphony is honored to offer the awardees tickets to any concert at Boettcher Concert Hall remaining in the 2013/14 season.

2014 Humanitarian Award Recipients:

Rose Shipp, posthumously awarded, founder, African-American Quilters and Collectors Guild
Tom Luehrs, Executive Director of the St. Francis Center
Murugan Palani, Board Chairperson, Rocky Mountain Minority Supplier Development Council
Pastor Rober Woolfolk, Mrs. Eddie Woolfolk, Agape Christian Church, The Honorable Menola Upshaw Lifetime Achievement Award
Thelma Gash, former Principal, Denver Public Schools, The Honorable Menola Upshaw Lifetime Achievement Award
Josie Brady, Dr. Joyce Marie Davis Outstanding Youth Award
Each was nominated by a member of the community and selected by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Humanitarian Commission, let by co-chairpersons Vern L. Howard and Charlezine “Terry Nelson” of the Blair/Caldwell African American Research Library.

1964: A King Came to Town

Carrying the theme “Renewed Dedication to Humanity,” the concert marks the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act, which outlawed racial segregation in voting and education. It’s also the year King was named Man on of the Year by Time – and later won the Nobel Prize for Peace.

1964 was meaningful for the civil rights movement in metro Denver, as well, marking a visit with both the Denver’s based Commission on Human Rights and a group of activists at Grace Presbyterian Church in Littleton. Footage from this visit, from Adam Dempsey’s documentary film When a King Came to Town, will be shown throughout the January 14 concert.


The Colorado Symphony performs more than 150 concerts during its regular season at Boettcher Concert Hall and on location throughout the state and region. 2013/14 season highlights include appearances by virtuoso violinists Itzhak Perlman and Joshua Bell, and classical pianists Natasha Paremski and Stephen Hough. This season’s Pops and Classic Rock series feature rock greats, iconic film scores and Broadway blockbusters. The Holiday, Family and Inside the Score series offer musical favorites, captivating collaborations and interactive concerts for music lovers of all ages. For more about the Colorado Symphony visit