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4:32 PM / Saturday February 4, 2023

4 Jan 2019

Longwood Gardens presents ‘We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’

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January 4, 2019 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

Longwood appearance part of 36-city North American tour honoring the Life and Legacy of Dr. King and the inspirational power of song

KENNETT SQUARE, PA –Longwood Gardens welcomes multi-genre recording artist Damien Sneed on January 19 at 8PM for “We Shall Overcome: A Celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., featuring Damien Sneed.” The Sphinx Medal of Excellence recipient will bring his brand of classical, jazz, and gospel music to the Gardens in this musical tribute to the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King. Tickets for the performance in Longwood’s stunning Conservatory are $37 and include all day Gardens Admission. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit longwoodgardens.org

The year 2019 marks the 35th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, which was signed into law and made a federal holiday in 1983. Inspired by the words and action of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “We Shall Overcome” showcases repertoire from across the African American music traditions that electrified generations of civil rights activists and defenders with interwoven spoken word from Dr. King’s recorded speeches. Produced and directed by Sneed, this production ties together a living lineage of music and culture from gospel to jazz to spirituals.

Joining Sneed will be an ensemble of multi-genre vocalists and instrumentalists, including Chenee Campbell (vocalist), Markita Knight (vocalist), Ayana George (vocalist), Anitra McKinney (vocalist), and Quinn Brown (vocalist), along with special guests, classical recording artists Patrice Eaton, Audrey DuBois Harris, and Brandie Sutton, who will appear on various dates of the tour. The musicians include Mark Clark (drums), John Matthew Clark (bass), and Marquéz Cassidy (keyboards).   

Damien Sneed is a pianist, organist, conductor, composer, producer, arranger, vocal coach, and arts educator whose work spans multiple genres. He has worked with classical, jazz, pop, and R&B legends including the late Aretha Franklin, Wynton Marsalis, Jessye Norman, Stevie Wonder, Diana Ross, Ashford & Simpson, Lawrence Brownlee, and many others. Sneed recently joined the acclaimed staff of the Houston Grand Opera (HGOco) as Music Director and Composer in Residence and serves as cover conductor for HGO mainstage productions under Patrick Summers, Artistic and Music Director. He has been commissioned to compose a new opera for Houston Grand Opera that will have its world premiere in March 2020. 

A graduate of John S. Davidson Fine Arts School in his hometown of Augusta, Ga., he earned a Bachelor of Music – Piano Performance from Howard University and a Master of Music in Music Technology: Scoring for Film and Multimedia from New York University. Sneed will also graduate with his doctorate in Orchestral Conducting from USC in fall 2018. He is the founder and artistic director of the international vocal ensemble Chorale Le Chateau, and the founder of LeChateau Earl Records. 

About Longwood Gardens

In 1906, industrialist Pierre du Pont (1870-1954) purchased a small farm near Kennett Square, PA, to save a collection of historic trees from being sold for lumber. Today, Longwood Gardens is one of the world’s great horticultural displays, encompassing 1,083 acres of dazzling gardens, woodlands, meadows, fountains, 10,010-pipe Aeolian organ and 4.5-acre conservatory. Longwood continues the mission set forth by Mr. du Pont to inspire people through excellence in garden design, horticulture, education and the performing arts, through programming that includes exhibitions, musical performances by leading artists, renowned horticulture education programs, horticulture research, environmental stewardship and community engagement.

Longwood Gardens is on US Route 1 near Kennett Square, PA, 30 miles west of Philadelphia. Timed admission tickets are $23 for adults; $20 for seniors (age 62+); $12 for students and free ages 4 and under. Group rates available. The Gardens open at 9 am. Details can be found at longwoodgardens.org.

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