Martin Luther King Day will be celebrated again in Davis this year with the help of the Free Range Singers and the Unitarian Universalist Sparks Choir.
An event called Rhythm of Love, organized by local choir director Laura Sandage, is a concert and community sing that Sandage said she hopes to make into an annual event. The concert begins at 7 p.m. Monday, Jan. 20, at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis, 27074 Patwin Road in rural West Davis.
“Last year it was called Come Together Singing, and we raised over $1,500 for Yolo County CASA,” Sandage said. “This year, Yolo Interfaith Immigration Network will be our beneficiary.”
Sandage said by choosing a new beneficiary each year, she hopes to share the wealth and increase public awareness of the many local humanitarian organizations in Yolo County. The Unitarian Universalist Church of Davis is co-sponsoring the event.
“We are glad to support YIIN’s efforts for immigration reform,” says church board president Marty West.
YIIN President Alison Pease will speak briefly at the event. Formed in 2008, YIIN’s activities include a “special partnership with the migrant families who come to our region to work every spring,” Pease said. “We are grateful for their hard work, and we have been privileged to partner with them at the Madison Migrant Center in cultural, artistic and educational activities for children and youth as well as adult English as a second language classes.”
Music at the event will feature the two choirs on plenty of rhythm-driven popular and contemporary songs, with support from Johnny Flores on drums, Nancy Lower on piano and Ray Frank on guitar.
“There will be a longer portion of the program this year devoted to choirs and audience singing all together,” said Sandage. “People seemed to really enjoy that.”
Lorie Hammond, director of Peregrine School, where Sandage leads an elementary school chorus, attended the concert last year and encourages families to put it on their calendars this year.
“The event leaves everyone with an uplifting feeling of a community united in a dream which Martin Luther King began, but many hope to continue,” Hammond said.