Annual Sing for King concert features local soloists

The city of Laurel and the Laurel Clergy Association will present the fifth annual Sing for King celebration on Sunday, Jan. 15 at 7 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 15000 First Baptist Lane (off Cherry Lane just west of Van Dusen Road).

The free celebration marks the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on the eve of the King holiday.

The celebration will feature the Sing for King Choir performing works by Mack Statham, a Laurel composer and organist at First United Methodist Church. The featured work will again be his "Trilogy of Dreams," comprised of three spirituals, and songs from Statham's cantata, "Whence We Came and Where We Are," will also be performed.


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The choir is directed by Ned Lewis, director of the Howard University Chapel Choir and former director of the High Point High School choir. Soloists, coming from various local churches, are Detra Battle, soprano; Sharon Lomax and Lolethia Lomax-Frazier, altos; and Carlos Petersen, tenor.

The event also will include a reading by the winner of a King student essay contest and other readings from King's life. A dessert reception will follow. Monetary donations will be collected to benefit the new King Memorial Foundation in Washington and a local charity.

All ages invited to "America's Sunday Supper" and service project

The Psi Epsilon Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Laurel Boys and Girls Club will offer a day of service and opportunity for adults and youth to discuss community concerns in recognition of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The free event will be held Monday, Jan. 16 from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Laurel Boys and Girls Club, 701 Montgomery St. Donations of non-perishable food, coats and blankets will be collected for Laurel Advocacy and Referral Services and the Bowie Interfaith Food Pantry. Personal care items such as body wash, deodorant, hair brushes, toothbrushes and toothpaste will be collected and used to prepare care packages for residents of Fisher House, which provides housing so families can stay near military members who are hospitalized.

From 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., volunteers will prepare the care packages and make Blankets of Hope for wounded military members and veterans.

At 1 p.m., the "America's Sunday Supper" discussions will be held with adults and youth divided into their own groups. Adults will discuss community concerns and members of the youth group will discuss the importance of non-violence in relation to bullying.

City employees to lay commemorative wreath at Peace Pole

Laurel city employees will place a wreath at the Peace Pole outside the Laurel Municipal Center on Friday, Jan. 13 at 4 p.m., in an early commemoration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Peace Pole was erected in 2003 through the efforts of a Laurel nonprofit group, Patrons for Peace Project, and with donations from students at Laurel Elementary and former City Council member Michael Sarich. The words "may peace prevail on earth" appear on each side of the hexagon pole in six different languages: English, Spanish, Hindi, Korean, American Sign Language and Swahili.

Howard County to hold celebration, day of service

Howard County's annual Martin Luther King Jr. holiday celebration will be held Sunday, Jan. 15 at Howard Community College.

This year's event will feature award-winning journalist, social activist, political commentator and author Jeff Johnson as the guest speaker and performances by various cultural groups. Winners of the 2011 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. student essay contest and the recipient of the Living the Dream award will be honored at the celebration.

The program begins at 3 p.m. in the Smith Theatre at the college's Horowitz Visual and Performing Arts Center, following a reception that starts at 2 p.m. The event is free, but attendees are asked to bring a canned food item to be donated to Howard County's Food Bank. In case of inclement weather, call 443-518-4030 for an event update.

Attendees will have the opportunity to sign up to volunteer for the "Day of Service" project, held from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 16, the official Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday. Volunteers for this year's project will help assemble emergency preparedness kits that will later be distributed to needy families. Those who do not plan to attend the celebration but wish to volunteer should contact Lakisha Williams at 410-313-5783 or lwilliams@howardcountymd.gov.

For more information about the event or "Day of Service Project," contact the Office of Human Rights at 410-313-6430.