The Lower School boys participated in an assembly on January 17 to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Pre-Primary teacher Katie Kummer welcomed the boys and teachers, while Director of Diversity Glenn Walker explained that the program aimed to present a timeline of Dr. King’s career and his fight for equal rights for all. Four members of the Multicultural Club presented highlights of his career and later answered questions from a curious audience eager to learn more about Dr. King and the civil rights movement.
An exciting addition to this assembly was a presentation by Lower School music teacher Lucy Warner and her students. Ms. Warner played “When the Saints Coming Marching In,” an American gospel hymn, which Headmaster Clement applauded as he welcomed everyone and explained the importance of Dr. King’s legacy. He also read a letter from New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s office thanking The Browning School for their community service efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. He was pleased to note that the School, like Dr. King, is mindful of helping and serving others.
Ms. Warner elaborated on various types of music, such as gospel, popular during the days of the Underground Railroad when slaves hoped to escape their masters; the audience was then treated to a related musical selection sung with great spirirt and animation by the fourth grade boys. Ms. Warner showed a photo of the famous African-American musician Louis Armstrong and also discussed ragtime music, playing “The Entertainer” by African-American composer Scott Joplin. She noted that the current Composer of the Month is John Philip Sousa (known as the “March King”) and showed an excerpt from the movie, “Drumline,” featuring the battle of the marching bands, specifically the drumming competition. As a finale, Ms. Warner discussed African-American entertainer Michael Jackson (known as the "King of Pop") and showed a video of his performance of “Billie Jean,” which was promoted with a film on MTV – described as “the first video by a black artist to be aired in heavy rotation.” Click here to view photos.