Washburn University and the Department of Music are recognizing the 60th anniversary of the Brown vs. Board of Education of Topeka decision by the United States Supreme Court this week with two special concerts.
Tickets still are available for the President's Concert at 7 p.m. Thursday at Helzberg Hall at Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, 1601 Broadway Blvd. Kansas City, Mo. A reprise of the concert at 7:30 p.m. on Friday will be held at White Concert Hall.
"The Department of Music wanted to find an artistic way of using music as an entity that breaks down barriers," explained Chris Kelts, who will conduct the Washburn University Symphony Orchestra during performance of Mozart's final work, Requiem.
Soloists in the program include Washburn alumnae, Richetta Manager. She is a professional opera singer renowned around the world for her Soprano, Ben Gulley, Tenor and Washburn music faculty members Ann Marie Snook, mezzo soprano and Lee Snook, baritone.
The Washburn Wind Ensemble, conducted by Michael Mapp, will perform James Barnes's Symphonic Requiem, with has Civil War era themes. Barnes lives in Lawrence.
"Performing two masterworks by Mozart and Barnes will allow the Department of Music to continue to perform the inclusiveness that is music," Kelts said.
During Thursday's concert at the Kauffman Center, Washburn ensembles will be joined by the choir from University Academy Middle School, under the direction of Tracy Ward.
Eleven Washburn graduates were involved in the Brown vs. Board case. Among them were four counsel for the plaintiffs: Elisha Scott, jd '16, Charles E. Bledose, jd '37; John Scott, jd '47 and Charles Scott, jd '48.
The Supreme Court ruled on May 17, 1954 that separate facilities based on race were inherently unequal and in violation of the Constitution.
The President's Concert is one of several events planned to recognize the landmark decision. It is generously supported by the Muriel McBrien Kauffman Foundation.