BOSTON, MASS. — Martin Luther King, Jr. had a dream. More than 45 years later, the singers of the Boston Children’s Chorus (BCC) are carrying it forward for future generations.

On Monday, January 19, the BCC will join special guests Academy Award winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr. and the Young People’s Chorus of New York City for «Raising the Roof!» a nationally televised tapestry of words and music honoring the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

In a city with a contentious history and sometimes racially-charged climate, the children of the BCC seek to harness the power and joy of music as a catalyst to unite our city’s diverse communities and inspire social change. Coming from more than 50 communities in and around Boston, these talented singers transcend race and class in pursuit of something greater than themselves.

«The music brings us together,» said Gwen Baptiste, a Boston teen who sings in the chorus. «But we bring the relationships we make here and the lessons we learn to what we do outside of BCC as well.»

Held on the eve of the historic inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama, the concert will take place at the New England Conservatory of Music’s prestigious Jordan Hall, widely considered to be one of the most acoustically perfect classical music performance spaces in America.

«Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had a vision of a world without limits, a world where anyone no matter their race or gender could co-exist in unity. While we still have many challenges to reach his dream, it is time to step back and celebrate what successes we have had in this journey,» BCC Artistic Director Anthony Trecek-King said. «It is in the young that we can clearly see and hear the future of our world.»

The show will air live in major markets around the country, including Boston, Washington, D.C., Tampa-St. Petersburg, Phoenix, Cleveland, Miami, Sacramento, Orlando, St. Louis and Pittsburgh. The event is made possible thanks to Media Partner WCVB-TV Channel 5, National Presenting Sponsor State Street Corporation and National Television Sponsor BJ’s Wholesale Club.

«It is the responsibility of every generation to raise the quality of life for the next one,» said Gossett, who in 2006 launched The Eracism Foundation, a non-profit organization which seeks to promote education and awareness of racism, ignorance and social apathy.

«This is progress,» he said of the BCC. «This is great progress and a model for the rest of our nation.»

The concert begins at 6:45 p.m. Admission is $25 and tickets are on sale now at the BCC’s web site: www.bostonchildrenschorus.org. A dress rehearsal will also take place at 2 p.m. on Jan. 19. Tickets are available online for $10.

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