Ithaca College MLK Concert to Feature “A Time for Peace”

By Dave Maley, January 5, 2024
Jewish, Palestinian, and gospel guest artists will join with student and faculty performers.

Special guest artists will join with student and faculty performers as the Ithaca College School of Music, Theatre, and Dance holds its annual concert honoring the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. Free and open to the public, the concert is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, January 26, in Ford Hall.

A highlight of the program will be a performance of “Zaman El Salaam/A Time for Peace,” arranged by associate professor of music education Baruch Whitehead. Written by Israeli musician and peace activist Yair Dalal, the song was the centerpiece of the 1994 Nobel Peace Prize concert in Oslo as 50 Israeli children, 50 Palestinian children, and 100 Norwegian children were joined by the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zubin Mehta.

Featured soloists for the MLK Concert performance of “Zaman El Salaam/A Time for Peace” will be Palestinian musician Naser Musa—a master of the Middle Eastern guitar-like instrument the oud—and Jewish vocalist Jaden Levine, a 2023 Ithaca College graduate who currently works with the New York Philharmonic. They will be joined by the Ithaca College Choral Ensembles and Symphony Orchestra, Dorothy Cotton Jubilee Singers, and Dorothy Cotton Youth Singers.

Man playing the oud.

Palestinian musician Naser Musa will be one of the featured soloists for “Zaman El Salaam/A Time for Peace.”

The concert will also serve as the premiere for Stan Spottswood’s “Let Justice Flow Down/We Shall Overcome,” commissioned by Ithaca College especially for this event. A Maryland-based composer and educator, Spottswood has been a regular participant in the college’s MLK Concerts and Gospel Music Invitational Festival. Gospel superstar Krista Overby will be among the solo performers on this piece.

Also on the program will be a theatrical reading of King’s “Letter from Birmingham Jail” by local faith leaders from many walks of life, along with inspirational songs ranging from Curtis Mayfield’s “People Get Ready” to “Battle Hymn of the Republic” to Cynthia Erivo’s “Stand Up,” featuring the GIAC Jumpers dance troupe.

For those who are unable to attend the concert in person, it will be streamed live at and available for later viewing in the archive.

Ithaca College will also hold its annual MLK Campus-Wide Celebration during the week of February 12-16, with the theme for this year being “Amplifying the Voices of Womxn of Color.” The schedule of events for the week will be announced at a later date.