MANCHESTER — The Manchester Choral Society presents “We Have A Dream,” a concert featuring African-American composers and poets who were influential during the Harlem Renaissance, the Civil Rights Movement, and the advancement of equal rights for African Americans.

The concerts are Saturday, May 18, 7 p.m., and Sunday, May 19, 2 p.m. at St. Joseph Cathedral, 145 Lowell Street in Manchester. 

The chorus, made up of singers representing communities all over southern New Hampshire as well as northern regions and the Seacoast, will perform a number of African American spirituals such as "Go Down Moses," " Deep River," "Nobody Knows the Trouble I’ve Seen," and "Steal Away."

This theme continues with "Those Who Wait" by William Grant Still (1895-1978), the centerpiece of the program and performed only one other time since its composition in 1943.

Judith Ann Still, W. Grant Still’s daughter, shared thoughts with the chorus that her father’s vision for "Those Who Wait" carried his most personal and important message for the world.

"What we did not understand until now was that our own nation was nurturing the animus of hate for decades without anyone realizing it," Still said. "There’s no question that our society is still far from achieving 'a world that is to come' where peace and equality are achieved and hate and prejudice no longer exists. A world where all men and women are brothers and sisters."

Tickets can be purchased at the door, or in advance, at mcsnh.org, or by calling 603-472-6627. Ticket prices for adults are $25/$20. Group rates are available.

The Manchester Choral Society is a non-profit auditioned community chorus established in 1961 and is under the musical direction of  Dr. Dan Perkins, who has served more than two decades as Professor of Music and Director of Choral Activities at Plymouth State University. Perkins is also music director of the New Hampshire Master Chorale, and New Hampshire Friendship Chorus.

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