Acclaimed musician-storyteller Reggie Harris to perform at Wooster Oct. 26

Reggie Harris, an acclaimed musician, storyteller, and expert on civil rights music

The College of Wooster will welcome Reggie Harris, an acclaimed musician, storyteller, and expert on civil rights music for a performance on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022, at 7 p.m. in Gault Recital Hall of Scheide Music Center (525 East University Street). The performance, titled “Standing in Freedom’s Name!: An Evening of Song & Story,” is free and open to the public and sponsored by the College’s departments of Communication Studies, Africana Studies, English, History, Music, Political Science, Religious Studies, Sociology & Anthropology, Theatre & Dance, and the Cultural Events Committee.

Harris’s music expresses his optimistic stance that life, though often challenging, is filled with possibility and hope. His songs reveal thoughts about life, love, and deep aspects of the human experience, covering topics from his journey, world issues, and history. He is an innovative guitarist, creative vocalist, and engaging storyteller whose concert performances are infused with joy. Uniquely committed to “music as a community building vehicle,” Reggie’s music shares insightful perspectives on issues of life, history, education, and human rights. He has earned distinction as one of the foremost interpreters and song leaders of the music of the Underground Railroad and the Modern Civil Rights movement. With a passion for peace and justice, Reggie travels worldwide using his gifts to share hope and raise awareness of human rights.

In addition to his performance on Wednesday evening, Harris will give a workshop session with the Wooster Chorus directed by Lisa Wong, Oliver Williams Kettering Professor of Music, and musical group Harmony Project, directed by Daniel Singer, visiting instructor of choral music. The Harmony Project is a new music ensemble that uses community singing as a medium to build connections, foster healing, and inspire social change and open to Wooster students, faculty, staff, as well as the greater community. While guests are welcome at the workshop, please contact Wong for more information at lwong@wooster.edu. Harris will also with two different Wooster classes while on campus.

A committed educator, Harris teaches others, including college students, about the civil rights movement in ways that are transformative. As a fellow for the Council of Independent Colleges, Reggie has done in-residence work at a number of colleges and universities including Nazareth College in Rochester, New York, Ursinus College in Pennsylvania, and St. Leo’s College in Florida. He is a board member of the Living Legacy Project, a nonprofit that conducts pilgrimages to important sites in the American Civil Rights Movement of the 1950s and 1960s. Harris has also led songwriting workshops at music camps including Summersongs, Boston’s Summer Acoustic Music Week, Peoples Music Network, and The Swannanoa Gathering.

In spring 2023, Wooster’s Denise Bostdorff, professor of communication studies, will teach Rhetoric of Black Civil Rights, a course that focuses on the rhetoric of the modern Black civil rights movement, concentrating on the mid-1950s to the early 1970s and making connections to today’s civil rights struggles and advocacy. In March, during part of Wooster’s spring break, Harris will travel with students from the class to Alabama, in cooperation with Living Legacy, to see significant sites and talk with people who lived during the civil rights movement in the area. “People who come to Reggie’s performance on Oct. 26 can get a sneak preview of what he will have to offer,” said Bostdorff. Members of the Wooster community, alumni, and others may register to join Bostdorff, Harris, and her students on this trip, starting on Dec. 15 at the following link: www.livinglegacypilgrimage.org.

Posted in News on October 19, 2022.

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