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MLK Day Celebration @ Park Place AME Church

SATURDAY, Jan. 13, 2024 from 10:00-2:00 p.m. — Park Place AME Ministries presents a “Community Unity Program” commemorating the historic legacies of Dr. George Washington Carver and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

This year’s program is Music & Memories celebrating the extraordinary musical contributions of Homestead music trailblazers Catherine Cardwell Gardner (singer and choir director), Mary Cardwell Dawson (founder of the Negro Opera Company), Jester Hairston (composer, actor, founding member of the Screen Actors Guild).

Co-sponsored by Battle of Homestead Foundation, the program is followed by a CommUnity Brunch in the church dining hall. The focus is on social justice and the impact these artists had in American music, and to bring people together for fellowship and conversation.

LOCATION:  Park Place AME Ministries, 215 E. 10th Avenue, Homestead, PA 15120

RSVP TICKETS: Suggested donation for Music & Memories and CommUnity Brunch is $25. For tickets visit Eventbrite at or call (412) 400-8809; patrons at $100 will be listed in the program.

Music & Memories performers include gospel singers Keith Easley and Park Place AME Choir director Debbie Squair. The tribute to Mary Cardwell Dawson features Grammy-winning opera soprano Chantal Braziel, graduate of Saint Vincent College and Carnegie Mellon University, and classically-trained tenor Park Place AME Pastor Geoffrey Tate.

Central Baptist Church pianist Jayla Grigs will accompany the gospel artists, and pianist Benjamin May will render an homage to the music of one of Mary Cardwell Dawson’s most famous students, Pittsburgh jazz master Ahmad Jamal. The tribute to Jester Hairston features combined voices from Park Place, Battle of Homestead Foundation and Renaissance Choir with singer-songwriter Mike Stout leading the finale.

The CommUnity Brunch follows in the church social hall. Guests are invited to stay in the sanctuary for a talkback with historian Dr. Charles McCollester and PhD musicology candidate Candace Burgess whose exhibit “Music Must Go On:  Re-membering Mary Cardwell Dawson” launches online Jan. 14.

park place ame print flyer (2)


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