St. Augustine Celebrates Civil Rights Act Anniversary With Song

Feb 27, 2014

An orchestral piece commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 will be performed this weekend in a city known for playing a vital role in the movement.

"Someday" is a composition for orchestra and baritone soloist commissioned by the St. Augustine Orchestra to commemorate the anniversary. The song is set to premiere tomorrow night during the first of three special performances being presented as part of St. Augustine's 450th anniversary celebration.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. reacts in St. Augustine after learning that the U.S. Senate passed the Civil Rights Act by two votes, June 19, 1964.
Credit AP file photo

The work combines the words of local poet Annette Talbert with a hymn text by Rev. Albert Tindley.

The text of Tindley's "I Shall Overcome Someday," credited by many as the inspiration for the civil rights anthem "We Shall Overcome," is among the elements used to compose the new work.

Composer Bob Moore and Annette Talbert joined Melissa Ross for a preview of “Someday.”

"The legislation itself inspired it," Moore said of the piece. "My idea was to use some words that are related to the Civil Rights Movement itself."

To dig deeper into St. Augustine's role in the movement, Moore asked his wife, Talbert, to compose poetry for the song.

Talbert said her poem reflects the events of June 1964, when Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Council came to St. Augustine to demonstrate in support of the Civil Rights Act.

"Someday" will premiere tomorrow night at the Lightner Museum in St. Augustine with a repeat performance scheduled at the museum on Saturday. It will also be performed Sunday at Ponte Vedra Concert Hall. You can get more info online at StAugustineOrchestra.org.

You can follow Melissa Ross on Twitter @MelissainJax.