May 26, 2024

Newman, UCC Announces Concert: Let Justice Roll

Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 3:00PM


Newman Congregational Church, United Church of Christ is pleased to present a concert titled Let Justice Roll. This concert will feature Let Justice Roll, an original cantata celebrating Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by African American composer Mark Miller. Also on the program are several spirituals and works with a racial justice theme. This concert will be performed by the combined choirs of Newman Congregational Church, UCC, the First Baptist Church in America, and other singers to join the cause. Geoffrey Greene and Stephen Martorella are the music ministers, and featured soloists are Becky Bass, soprano, Neil Letendre, tenor, and Venson Jordan, narrator.

This concert was originally scheduled to be performed at Newman Church in April of 2020 but was canceled due to the pandemic. We are delighted to be able to reschedule this concert and celebrate the legacy of Dr. King. The cantata Let Justice Roll is a powerful piece in which the narrator reads the words to Dr. King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail while the choir sings supporting text, accompanied by piano and organ. Dr. King’s Letter From Birmingham Jail was written April 16, 1963 and states that people have a moral responsibility to break unjust laws and to take direct action rather than waiting potentially forever for justice to come through the courts. Responding to being referred to as an "outsider", King writes: "Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere." The role of the narrator is critical as its powerful language blends with the music to emphasize that the “wait” is over and the time for justice is now.

Other works in this concert include choral works by local composer Lawrence E. Wilson, III, a member of the First Baptist choir, which feature jazz harmonies and catchy rhythms. Works arranged by Martorella and Greene are also included on the program. The concert opens with the brilliant organ solo setting of Lift Every Voice and Sing, also by Mark Miller, played by Stephen Martorella.

All proceeds from this concert support Newman Church’s Racial Equity Scholarship program. Please visit our website at  to learn about this program and to apply for a scholarship. We are graciously asking for your financial support for this concert in order to help fund this great cause.

The Let Justice Roll concert will take place on Sunday, March 3, 2024 at 3:00 PM. The public is cordially invited and there is a suggested donation of $10. A reception will follow the concert with an opportunity to meet the musicians. Newman Congregational Church, UCC is located at 100 Newman Avenue, Rumford, RI. For more info, to become a sponsor, or to reserve tickets, please call the church office at (401) 434-4742 x10.


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